Dijon Kizzee is a 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by police on August 31 after he was stopped for a vehicle code violation while riding his bicycle.
Kizzee, who was identified by family members at the scene, was biking around 3:15 p.m. in Southern Los Angeles when he was approached by Los Angeles County Sherrif’s Department deputies, according to the department and CBS Los Angeles. Authorities told the station that he was stopped for a “vehicle code violation.”
Video from a bystander posted on social media shows Kizzee running from police before he was shot.
A “fight ensued” between deputies and Kizzee, in which the Los Angeles resident brandished “a handgun,” the sheriff’s department wrote on Twitter. He also “struck one of the deputies,” the Los Angeles Times reported, citing the department’s claims.
“Our suspect was holding some items of clothing in his hands, punched one of the officers in the face and then dropped the items in his hands,” Lieutenant Brandon Dean said during a press conference.
“The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semiautomatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” he added.
Authorities carried out a “deputy-involved ‘hit’ shooting,” LA County Sherrifs said on Twitter.
Kizzee was pronounced dead at the scene and his handgun was recovered, LASD continued. No deputies were harmed.
Although an investigation is underway, the department did not disclose how many times or where Kizzee was shot.
A spokesperson for LASD told Heavy that it has no additional information at this time.
Here’s what you need to know about Dijon Kizzee’s death:
1. Bystander Footage Shows Kizzee Running Away From the Cops Before He Was Shot
Cell phone footage posted on Twitter shows the man running from law enforcement before he was fatally shot.
The clip then cuts to a crowd of bystanders screaming and shouting at two deputies pointing their guns at Kizzee’s now-limp body on the ground. The man filming says repeatedly, “They smoked him.” He yells repeatedly to LASD authorities that “he’s dead,” referring to Kizzee, while police attempt to handcuff his lifeless body.
You can watch the video above. Be warned that it contains disturbing images and offensive language.
2. Deputies Say Kizzee Fled From His Bicycle When They Approached Him
Dean told the Los Angeles Times that two LASD deputies were driving when they spotted a man riding his bicycle in violation of vehicle codes. The department did not disclose Kizzee’s name in its press release.
The newspaper noted that the lieutenant did not know which codes were broken as referenced by the deputies.
Dean added that Kizzee fled when deputies initially tried to approach him. He ran for one block while officers chased him, the Times continued. When LASD tried again to “make contact,” deputies say he punched one of them in the face, Dean told the paper.
The 29-year-old simultaneously dropped a bundle of clothing, revealing a black handgun, the department told the Times. Both deputies then opened fire, resulting in Kizzee’s death, officials said.
3. News of Kizzee’s Death Sparked Massive Protests Overnight
CBS Los Angeles reported that scores of protesters gathered at the scene in South Los Angeles hours after the shooting.
A large crowd chanted “say his name,” “no justice, no peace” and “Black lives matter,” the Los Angeles Times added. After midnight, more than 100 protesters continued the demonstration at the Sheriff’s station, the paper added.
Among the marchers was the Black Lives Matter LA group, which tweeted out a call to action late Monday night. The Los Angeles chapter urged people to get involved “ASAP.”
Many have also taken to social media to condemn LASD’s conduct, pushing for the defunding or abolishment of police.
Below are some of the responses:
4. Several Independent Investigations Are Underway
All LASD deputy-involved shootings resulting in death are immediately investigated by several independent entities, beginning at the scene, the department noted in its release:
These include separate investigations by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner – Coroner, Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Internal Affairs Bureau. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department immediately notifies the Office of the Inspector General who sends a representative to the incident scene and provides independent oversight throughout the investigative process. Once concluded, a preliminary review is conducted by the Critical Incident Review Panel to determine whether any immediate actions are warranted. Every aspect of the shooting is reviewed by the Sheriff’s Executive Force Review Committee. Input from Constitutional Policing Advisors is provided during the process.
Navarro-Suarez added that the Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will conduct a legal analysis to decide if criminal charges should be filed.
Investigators have not yet reviewed surveillance or other types of footage, according to the Los Angeles Times.
5. LASD Does Not Yet Require Body-Worn Cameras
The Antelope Valley Times reported on August 12 that LASD announced it was preparing to deploy body-worn cameras for its deputies.
County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the department partnered with Axon Enterprise Inc. to issue the devices, which will begin rolling out on October 1, the newspaper disclosed.
“This was a 20-month battle since the very first week I took office to get this program up and running, and it is very important to transparency (and) my commitment to reform the department,” the sheriff told The Antelope Valley Times.
The first five stations slated to receive the cameras include Lancaster, Century, Lakewood, Industry and West Hollywood, the outlet reported.