LOS ANGELES – A grainy video shows a Black man stopped while riding a bicycle struggling with a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. But it doesn't confirm whether he reached toward a dropped gun before being shot and killed, as authorities contend.
Monday afternoon's killing of Dijon Kizzee, 29, in South Los Angeles follows several other shootings of Black men that have sparked protests around the nation. They include the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed last month in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, the Blake family’s lawyer, announced Wednesday that he also is representing Kizzee’s relatives and called the shooting a ”despicable and tragic killing."
“When officers shoot first and ask questions later, precious lives are lost and police lose credibility and trust from those they are sworn to protect,” Crump said in a statement.
Kizzee was riding a bicycle when sheriff's deputies tried to stop him for an unspecified traffic violation, according to an account from the Sheriff's Department.
Kizzee dropped the bike and ran before deputies caught up to him. The Sheriff's Department account said he punched a deputy in the face.
A 41-second video obtained by the Los Angeles Times shows a police SUV stop in a street. A deputy gets out, runs around a parked car and appears to try to grab Kizzee as he walks down the sidewalk. They tussle, standing, and move down the street together for several seconds. Kizzee appears to throw a punch, although the view is too unclear to confirm whether he struck the deputy.
The video then shows Kizzee breaking free, stumbling and falling to the ground. A second deputy arrives. Within about 2 seconds, they repeatedly open fire.