Los Angeles, September 2
A black man who was stopped on his bicycle for an alleged “vehicle code” violation was shot to dying by two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies, who fired 15 to 20 rounds after the person punched one officer and dropped a pistol on the bottom, authorities stated on Tuesday.
A semiautomatic handgun apparently fell from a bundle of garments that the person, recognized as Dijon Kizzee, 29, had been clutching and dropped when he struck an officer within the face, stated Lieutenant Brandon Dean, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman.
Dean stated the 2 officers opened hearth when Kizzee made “a motion that he’s going to pick up the firearm.” “Whether the firearm was actually in his hand, if he was motioning towards it, I don’t have those specifics because we haven’t interviewed the actual deputies who were there yet,” Dean stated.
Initial information of Monday afternoon’s taking pictures drew scores of offended demonstrators to the scene of the Westmont neighborhood on the southern fringe of Los Angeles, changing into the most recent flashpoint in a summer time of protests over African-Americans killed by the hands of police.
“You don’t kill any race but us, and it don’t make any sense,” Fletcher Fair, Kizzee’s aunt, advised reporters on Tuesday on the taking pictures scene, the place activists known as for an impartial investigation by California’s legal professional normal.
A protest march was being organized for Tuesday night by native activists from the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police.
Prominent civil rights legal professional Ben Crump, who was retained to signify Kizzee’s household, posted on Twitter: “They say he ran, dropped clothes and a handgun. He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.” A neighbour who stated she watched the scuffle and the taking pictures that adopted from her house instantly throughout the road from the scene advised Reuters on Tuesday that she by no means noticed Kizzee throw a punch, by no means noticed a gun, and that he “wasn’t a threat.” Deja Roquemore, 31, stated the 2 deputies stored firing at Kizzee at the same time as he lay immobile, face down, on the bottom.
“I watched him go from living, to dying to dead,” Roquemore stated in a phone interview. Roquemore, who’s house through the day overseeing her 6-year-old’s on-line faculty classes, stated she was interviewed by investigators.
Dean advised Reuters that the deputies, collectively, fired a complete of 15 to 20 gunshots. He stated Kizzee sustained a number of wounds to his higher torso, however the variety of bullets that struck him wouldn’t be recognized till an post-mortem was carried out.
The two officers concerned have been faraway from patrol obligation in the meanwhile, he stated.
According to Dean, occasions resulting in the taking pictures started when the deputies noticed a person, since recognized as Kizzee, driving his bike “in violation of the vehicle code” and tried to cease him.
Kizzee jumped off his bike and darted away on foot, earlier than the 2 officers caught up with him a brief distance away, the place the lethal encounter occurred.
In the model of occasions given by Roquemore, she stated she witnessed Kizzee and one of many officers “tussling” over the garments bundle earlier than it fell to the bottom.
At that time, she recounted, Kizzee threw each arms within the air, yelling, “I don’t have anything. What do you want?” earlier than turning to run away. She stated an officer then fired a Taser into Kizzee’s legs, and the 2 deputies gunned him down when he pivoted again towards them.
Dean denied that officers ever deployed a Taser, and he provided no clarification for the differing accounts.
Dean stated he didn’t know what automobile code Kizzee was suspected of violating. He advised reporters on Monday: “It is not uncommon for deputies to conduct vehicle stops of bicycles. They have to adhere to the same rules of the road as a vehicle does.” Reuters