A Black man's fatal shooting Monday by two sheriff's deputies has led to protests in south Los Angeles.
Authorities said the man, identified by his family as Dijon Kizzee, was spotted riding a bike about 3:15 p.m. in violation of vehicle codes, although Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean could not cite which codes the man allegedly violated, reports the Los Angeles Times.
As deputies made a U-turn in their vehicle and approached to make contact with the man, he dropped the bike and ran on foot, causing the deputies to briefly lose sight of him until they caught up again and approached him a second time.
“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,” said Dean, according to CBS Los Angeles. “The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semi-automatic handgun.”
The two deputies then fired their guns, striking the man several times, said Dean, reports KTLA.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bystander video posted to social media captured portions of the incident.
In the video, a man is seen running from two deputies with what appears to be clothing in his hands, and disappearing behind a house. "He gone, he outta here," says an overheard voice, as the video turns to the two officers walking down the street in another direction.
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The video then quick-cuts to the two officers with their guns drawn and what appears to be a body on the street near a parked vehicle.
“They smoked him,” a man watching from across the street is overheard saying on the video. "They shot that n—-r like 20 times!"
Dean said the alleged count of 20 bullets fired was inaccurate, but he did not know how many times the man had been struck, reports the Times.
More than 100 protesters marched to a nearby sheriff's station after midnight Monday as crowds gathered at the scene in the hours after the shooting, breaking into chants of “Say his name,” “No justice, no peace” and “Black lives matter," according to the Times.
“It’s like it’s open season,” 68-year-old Arlander Givens told the newspaper, recounting his concern as more Black men have recently died at the hands of police in Minneapolis and Kenosha, Wisconsin, and now on his street.
“If he reached down to grab [the gun], that’s different,” Givens said of the victim. “But if it’s on the ground, why shoot? That means he was unarmed.”
Asked about the deadly use of force, Dean said: “We still have to conduct our interviews of the investigating officers to see exactly what happened and transpired during the deputy-involved-shooting. But if this individual was reaching for a semi-automatic handgun, I would suggest that, you know, that’s probably why deadly force was important,” according to KTLA.
“Give us time to conduct our investigation,” he said. “We will get all of the facts of this case and eventually present them.”
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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