The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is under scrutiny after deputies fatally shot a Black man who was riding a bicycle in the Westmont area near South Los Angeles on Monday. The man has been identified by family members as 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee.
In a news conference Tuesday near the scene of the shooting, community activist Najee Ali told reporters Kizzee was “executed.”
“The deputies essentially executed a man riding a bicycle,” Ali said.
According to sheriff’s Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez, the shooting took place around 3:15 p.m. during a confrontation between deputies and Kizzee near West 109th Place and South Budlong Avenue. Deputies stopped Kizzee because he was on a bicycle in “violation of vehicle codes.”
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Kizzee allegedly left his bike and ran before deputies caught up with him and a fight ensued, according to the sheriff’s department. The incident was partially captured on video by witnesses.
Ali said people in the community are tired and want justice. “We are demanding the arrests of the deputies,” he said.
Deputy Brandon Dean of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Monday, “Our suspect was holding some items of clothing in his hands, punched one of the officers in the face. Then, dropped the items in his hands. The deputies noticed inside the clothing items that he dropped a black semi-automatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting took place.”
Two deputies opened fire and shot Kizzee multiple times, and he was reported dead at the scene. No deputies were injured.
Hours after the shooting, candles, flowers and balloons had been placed near the spot where Kizzee died.
“He laid on the ground for hours. They didn’t even cover him up,” said a woman, who declined to give her name.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is representing Kizzee’s family. On Tuesday morning, Crump tweeted: “Cops stopped him while riding his bike for alleged ‘vehicle code violation.’ They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun. He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.”
Kizzee’s distraught aunt, Fletcher Fair, attended Tuesday’s news conference and said something must change.
“Right now, I’m sad and I’m mad at the same time,” she said. “This is not America. This is ridiculous.”