A grainy video reveals a Black man scuffling with a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy
LOS ANGELES — A grainy video reveals a Black man stopped whereas driving a bicycle scuffling with a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. However it would not verify 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 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 family members 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 mentioned in a press release.
Kizzee was driving a bicycle when sheriff’s deputies tried to cease him for an unspecified visitors violation, based on 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 mentioned 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 automotive 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 substantiate 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 mentioned 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 mentioned what number of occasions Kizzee was shot. The video had no audio.
Nevertheless, the Instances mentioned one other video from a front-door digicam that did not present the taking pictures recorded the sound of 15 gunshots over a 10-second interval.
There is no physique digicam 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 accepted funding, and the primary group of deputies will probably be outfitted with cameras subsequent month.
Kizzee’s family members have described him as dedicated to his late mom and 18-year-old brother. They mentioned he was an brisk man who beloved go-karts, automobiles and music and that he was working towards changing into a plumber.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided his condolences to Kizzee’s family members on Tuesday, who he mentioned features a cousin who’s a Sheriff’s Division member.
Residents on bicycles in communities of shade are frequently stopped for supposed car violations, mentioned Donny Joubert, vice chairman of the Watts Gang Job Drive group in Los Angeles that was created to scale back gang violence and enhance neighborhood relations with police.
White cyclists in rich neighborhoods hardly ever face the identical remedy, Joubert mentioned.
“They’ll pull you over on a skateboard,” Joubert mentioned. “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 obtained complaints alleging police harassment of Black bicyclists. However Ridley-Thomas mentioned he heard related accounts anecdotally following Kizzee’s demise.
“It is not something with which those who are involved in criminal justice reform and representing clients are unfamiliar,” he mentioned.
Statistics nationwide present that “biking while Black” can lead to disproportionate citations for folks of shade. 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 evaluate 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.