LOS ANGELES (US) – A Black man who was on his bicycle was stopped for allegedly violating “vehicle code”, and was shot to death by two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies. He was fired 15 to 20 rounds after the man happened to punch one officer and dropped a pistol on the ground, said authorities on Tuesday.
Dijon Kizzee, 29, was found to have a semiautomatic handgun, which apparently fell from a bundle of clothes he had been holding onto. He dropped it when he struck an officer in the face, said Lieutenant Brandon Dean, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman.
Dean said, “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.”
Monday afternoon saw angry demonstrators on the southern edge of Los Angeles.
“You don’t kill any race but us, and it don’t make any sense,” Fletcher Fair, Kizzee’s aunt, told on Tuesday at the shooting scene.
A protest march was being organised by the Coalition for Community Control for Tuesday evening.
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who was retained to represent Kizzee’s family, 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.”
Deja Roquemore, 31, said the two deputies continued to fire at Kizzee even as he laid still, with his face down, on the ground.
“I watched him go from living, to dying to dead,” Roquemore said, who has been overseeing her 6-year-old’s online school lessons, said the investigators interviewed her as well.
Dean told Kizzee was subjected to several wounds in his upper torso. However, one could not say how many bullets had struck him until an autopsy was performed.
Kizzee jumped off his bike, before the two officers caught up with him up where the fatal incident happened.
She recollected, Kizzee threw both hands in the air, yelling, “I don’t have anything. What do you want?” before turning to run away.
Dean, however, denied that officers used a Taser. He said, “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.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.