Lawyers Say LA County Sheriff’s Deputies Shot Dijon Kizzee 15 Times

Dijon Kizzee Family Photo

Attorneys representing the family of Dijon Kizzee, a Black bicyclist fatally shot by police last month near South Los Angeles, say an independent autopsy shows Kizzee’s death was “an execution” by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

“He did not die instantly, he was writhing on the ground in pain when officers opened up on him,” attorney Carl Douglas told reporters Tuesday during a news conference in Los Angeles.

Deputies fired 19 shots, striking Kizzee 15 times, Douglas said.

“When officers opened up on him, you can tell by the audio of the shooting, that there were three or four shots and then a pause, and 15 additional shots followed after that,” Douglas explained.

Related Story: Residents Demand Justice After LA County Sheriff’s Deputies Fatally Shoot Black Bicyclist

Attorneys Carl Douglas and Ben Crump spoke to reporters about the police shooting of Dijon Kizzee in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (Credit: Anita Bennett)
Attorneys Carl Douglas and Ben Crump spoke to reporters on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (Credit: Anita Bennett)

Kizzee, 29, was fatally shot on the afternoon of Aug. 31, while riding his bicycle in the Westmont neighborhood near  South L.A.

National civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is among the family’s legal team, said the killing is part of a nationwide epidemic of violence against African Americans.

“While America is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we in Black America are dealing with the 1619 pandemic. That represents the year when the first enslaved Africans were brought to America,” Crump said. “For 401 years, we have been dealing with systematic racism and oppression that has us bear witness to killing us outside the courtroom and inside the courtroom, for stuff as benign as riding a bicycle while Black.”

Kizzee’s distraught aunt shared her frustration over the shooting.

“All I want is justice for my nephew. He didn’t have to be killed like that. He was no animal. He’s a human like we are, and I’m tired of hearing on the news every week somebody else is being done this way,” Fletcher Fair said as her voice quivered.

The LASD initially said Kizzee dropped several items during a confrontation with deputies, including a handgun that had been with his belongings.

Last week the sheriff’s department said Kizzee was stopped for riding the wrong way down the street. The department offered new video evidence and said it showed Kizzee reached for the gun after he dropped it.

“During the struggle, Kizzee’s pistol fell to the ground between him and the deputy. At this moment, the deputies saw the gun and drew their pistols as Kizzee stopped, bent over, reached back and picked up the pistol. Each deputy fired at Kizzee, striking him several times in the torso, causing the gun to again fall to the ground,” Capt. Kent Wegener told reporters on Sept. 17.

Douglas took aim at the sheriff’s department for not rendering help, and instead letting Dijon Kizzee die in the street.

“The deputies who fired their weapons called for back-up and spent several critical minutes waiting for back-up to arrive, while Dijon was bleeding to death in the street,” the attorney said. “The independent autopsy supports my contention that this shooting was an execution, plain and simple.”