Dijon Kizzee’s attorney said Sheriff’s deputies pulled the trigger when the young African-American was writhing on the sidewalk in pain.
Criticizing the argument by the Sheriff’s department, which said last week that a 29-year-old man was fatally shot while pointing a gun at officers, in the Westmont area, attorneys for Dijon Kizzee’s family said today with the results of an independent autopsy, that the victim was shot several times while « writhing on the floor in pain.
Kizzee was shot on Aug. 31 by two Sheriff’s deputies, but department chief Alex Villanueva released a series of videos last week capturing various parts of the confrontation between Kizzee and the two officers, including footage of the shooting itself.
The Sheriff’s department maintains that Kizzee had dropped a gun during the initial confrontation with officers, then picked it up and pointed it at the officers, causing them to open fire and shoot him 19 times.
Officers initially tried to stop Kizzee while he was riding his bike, claiming he was going on the wrong side of the street and making his way through traffic, according to the authorities’ version. When the agents caught up with him, they added, a physical fight ensued where the young African-American allegedly punched an agent in the face and dropped a pistol he was carrying, hidden in the middle of several pieces of clothing.
Dijon Kizzee, killed by police in Los Angeles, was 29 years old.
At a press conference Tuesday in Ladera Heights, attorneys for Kizzee’s family, including national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, denounced the authorities’ version of events presented at the conference, insisting that Kizzee was shot. with his hands in the air, then he was shot several times while on the ground.
“He tried to give himself to them. He put his hands in the air, ”Crump said. « He raised his hands, dropped the bag, and they continued to shoot him, even though he posed no threat. »
Attorney Carl Douglas explained that the independent autopsy carried out by the family determined that Kizzee was shot 15 times, “seven times with his back facing the officers.
« Some of those shots … were deeper because Mr. Kizzee was on the ground when those wounds were inflicted, » Douglas stressed.
« He did not die instantly, » he added. “He was writhing on the ground in pain when the officers opened fire on him. From the audio, you can tell that there were three or four shots and then a pause; after that 15 additional shots followed.
Witnesses confirmed that there was no effort to reduce the escalation of violence, lawyers said. “Ask Villanueva about that. Witnesses confirmed that there were no warning calls either. Ask Villanueva about that … This show – conference – that he presented last week was simply an effort to save himself.
Attorney Crump compared Kizzee’s shooting to other African-American men who have been killed by police across the country.
« Look at these videos, » he said. « Look at them and you will see these black men are just trying to escape from the police. »
“While the United States is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we (African Americans) in America are dealing with the pandemic that started in 1619,” Crump added. “That year was the time when the first slaves were brought to America, and from that time, until today, 401 years later, we have been dealing with racism and systematic oppression that makes us witness how they kill us outside and in court in situations as banal as riding a bicycle ”.
The lawyer emphasized that « I have come here today to proclaim to everyone in Los Angeles that not everyone is immune to the 1619 pandemic, and the proof is the execution of Dijon Kizzee. »
Kizzee’s death has reactivated a series of protests against police abuse outside the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station, leading to a dozen arrests and clashes between authorities and community members who have come out to protest. .
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