LOS ANGELES (AP) — A grainy video exhibits a Black man stopped whereas driving a bicycle fighting a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. Nevertheless it doesn’t affirm whether or not he reached towards a dropped gun earlier than being shot and killed, as authorities contend.
Monday afternoon’s killing of Dijon Kizzee, 29, in South Los Angeles follows a number of different shootings of Black males which have sparked protests across the nation. They embrace the police capturing of Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed final month in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, the Blake household’s lawyer, introduced Wednesday that he is also representing Kizzee’s family and known as the capturing a ”despicable and tragic killing.”
“When officers shoot first and ask questions later, precious lives are lost and police lose credibility and trust from those they are sworn to protect,” Crump stated in a press release.
Kizzee was driving a bicycle when sheriff’s deputies tried to cease him for an unspecified visitors violation, in accordance with an account from the Sheriff’s Division.
Kizzee dropped the bike and ran earlier than deputies caught as much as him. The Sheriff’s Division account stated he punched a deputy within the face.
A 41-second video obtained by the Los Angeles Occasions exhibits a police SUV cease in a road. A deputy will get out, runs round a parked automobile and seems to attempt to seize Kizzee as he walks down the sidewalk. They tussle, standing, and transfer down the road collectively for a number of seconds. Kizzee seems to throw a punch, though the view is simply too unclear to verify whether or not he struck the deputy.
The video then exhibits Kizzee breaking free, stumbling and falling to the bottom. A second deputy arrives. Inside about 2 seconds, they repeatedly open hearth.
Sheriff’s officers have stated a gun fell out when Kizzee dropped a jacket as he fell to the bottom and he “made a motion” for the weapon — prompting the capturing.
However on the video, a fence obstructs the view at that interval within the sequence of occasions.
The Sheriff’s Division offered no new details about the case on Wednesday.
Authorities haven’t stated what number of occasions Kizzee was shot. The video had no audio.
Nevertheless, the Occasions stated one other video from a front-door digital camera that didn’t present the capturing recorded the sound of 15 gunshots over a 10-second interval.
There isn’t any physique digital camera footage as a result of deputies within the nation’s largest sheriff’s division aren’t geared up with them. The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday permitted funding, and the primary group of deputies can be geared up with cameras subsequent month.
Kizzee’s family have described him as dedicated to his late mom and 18-year-old brother. They stated he was an brisk man who cherished go-karts, vehicles and music and that he was working towards changing into a plumber.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided his condolences to Kizzee’s family on Tuesday, who he stated features a cousin who’s a Sheriff’s Division member.
Residents on bicycles in communities of shade are usually stopped for supposed car violations, stated Donny Joubert, vp of the Watts Gang Activity Drive group in Los Angeles that was created to scale back gang violence and enhance neighborhood relations with police.
White cyclists in rich neighborhoods not often face the identical therapy, Joubert stated.
“They’ll pull you over on a skateboard,” Joubert stated. “It means our kids can’t even ride a bike in their community without being blamed for something or being accused of something.”
The workplace of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents the district the place Kizzee was shot, has not acquired complaints alleging police harassment of Black bicyclists. However Ridley-Thomas stated he heard related accounts anecdotally following Kizzee’s dying.
“It is not something with which those who are involved in criminal justice reform and representing clients are unfamiliar,” he stated.
Statistics nationwide present that “biking while Black” can lead to disproportionate citations for folks of shade. A 2015 Tampa Bay Occasions investigation revealing that eight out of 10 bicyclists ticketed by Tampa police have been Black prompted a federal probe.
A Chicago Tribune evaluation in 2017 discovered that greater than twice as many citations have been written in African-American communities than in white or Latino areas.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division didn’t present statistics concerning bicycle stops and citations on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Police Division’s figures don’t break down car stops by class.