What started as a stop for unlawfully riding a bicycle ended with a 29-year-old Black man dead and protesters once again demanding justice, this time in South Los Angeles. Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shot and killed Dijon Kizzee Monday afternoon after he ran from deputies and a gun was later found on the scene, officials told the Los Angeles Times. ”During the contact, a fight ensued between the suspect and deputies. The suspect produced a handgun and a deputy-involved ‘hit’ shooting occurred,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “The suspect’s handgun was recovered. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
His family, who is demanding the unidentified deputies be arrested, however, said there is more to the story than officials have revealed.
Kizzee’s aunt, who The New York Times identified as Fletcher Fair, said the shooting was “so dirty” of the sheriff’s department. She spoke Tuesday during a press conference held at the shooting site. No other race is targeted by police more than Black people, she said. “It’s just us, and we’re tired. We are absolutely tired,” she said of law enforcement officials. “Whatever they get they get because they damn deserve it (…) If you don’t like us, stay out of our neighborhoods. Don’t come here. We didn’t ask for you.”
Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean told the Los Angeles Times he didn't know the vehicle codes Kizzee was accused of breaking when two deputies driving in the area spotted him at 3:15 PM, but when the deputies stopped Kizzee, he dropped his bike and ran. When authorities eventually caught up with Kizzee, he punched one of them in the face, and dropped a bundle of clothes he was carrying in the process, Dean said. Deputies spotted the gun in the bundle and shot Kizzee an unknown number of times, Dean said.
Dean told the Los Angeles Times he hasn't reviewed cellphone or surveillance video that may be available. “Give us time to conduct our investigation,” he said. “We will get all of the facts of this case and eventually present them.” The sheriff’s department hasn’t yet provided its deputies with body cameras. Activists are calling for an independent investigation from California’s attorney general, The New York Times reported.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva offered his condolences to Kizzee’s family Tuesday at a county Board of Supervisors’ meeting. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, and that includes a member of my own department who is a cousin of the deceased,” the sheriff said.