LOS ANGELES – A grainy video reveals a Black man stopped whereas using a bicycle combating a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. Nevertheless it does not 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 embody the police taking pictures of Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed final month in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Civil rights legal professional Benjamin Crump, the Blake household’s lawyer, introduced Wednesday that he is also representing Kizzee’s relations and known as the taking pictures 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 using a bicycle when sheriff’s deputies tried to cease him for an unspecified visitors violation, in response to 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 Instances reveals 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 reveals 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 taking pictures.
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 have not stated what number of occasions Kizzee was shot. The video had no audio.
Nevertheless, the Instances stated one other video from a front-door digital camera that did not present the taking pictures recorded the sound of 15 gunshots over a 10-second interval.
There’s no physique digital camera footage as a result of deputies within the nation’s largest sheriff’s division aren’t outfitted with them. The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday accredited funding, and the primary group of deputies will likely be outfitted with cameras subsequent month.
Kizzee’s relations have described him as dedicated to his late mom and 18-year-old brother. They stated he was an lively man who cherished go-karts, vehicles and music and that he was working towards turning into a plumber.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided his condolences to Kizzee’s relations on Tuesday, who he stated features a cousin who’s a Sheriff’s Division member.
Residents on bicycles in communities of colour are usually stopped for supposed car violations, stated Donny Joubert, vp of the Watts Gang Job Pressure group in Los Angeles that was created to cut back gang violence and enhance neighborhood relations with police.
White cyclists in rich neighborhoods hardly ever face the identical remedy, 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 loss of life.
“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” may end up in disproportionate citations for folks of colour. A 2015 Tampa Bay Instances investigation revealing that eight out of 10 bicyclists ticketed by Tampa police had been Black prompted a federal probe.
A Chicago Tribune overview in 2017 discovered that greater than twice as many citations had 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.
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