LOS ANGELES – A grainy video reveals a Black man stopped whereas using a bicycle combating a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. Nevertheless it would 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 lawyer Benjamin Crump, the Blake household’s lawyer, introduced Wednesday that he is also representing Kizzee’s kin 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 using a bicycle when sheriff’s deputies tried to cease him for an unspecified site visitors violation, in keeping 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 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 avenue. 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 just 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 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 supplied no new details about the case on Wednesday.
Authorities have not mentioned what number of occasions Kizzee was shot. The video had no audio.
Nonetheless, 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 geared up with them. The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized funding, and the primary group of deputies might be geared up with cameras subsequent month.
Kizzee’s kin have described him as dedicated to his late mom and 18-year-old brother. They mentioned he was an lively man who cherished go-karts, automobiles and music and that he was working towards changing into a plumber.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva supplied his condolences to Kizzee’s kin on Tuesday, who he mentioned features a cousin who’s a Sheriff’s Division member.
Residents on bicycles in communities of shade are recurrently stopped for supposed automobile violations, mentioned Donny Joubert, vice chairman of the Watts Gang Process Power 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 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 comparable 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 mentioned.
Statistics nationwide present that “biking while Black” can lead to disproportionate citations for individuals of shade. A 2015 Tampa Bay Instances investigation revealing that eight out of 10 bicyclists ticketed by Tampa police have been Black prompted a federal probe.
A Chicago Tribune evaluate 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 relating to bicycle stops and citations on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Police Division’s figures don’t break down automobile stops by class.
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