Attorneys representing the family of Dijon Kizzee on Tuesday presented the findings of an independent autopsy. Kizzee, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by deputies from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on August 31.
Kizzee was fatally shot after deputies tried to stop him for riding his bicycle on the wrong said of the road, police said last week. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Captain Kent Wegener said Thursday that Kizzee fled from the officers who tried to cite him for a traffic violation, according to CBS Los Angeles. At one point, Kizzee dropped a pistol and, according to Wegener, he “bends over, reaches, picks up the gun and is shot while he stands with the gun in hand.”Wegener also claimed the gun was stolen during a 2017 burglary in Las Vegas.Attorneys for Kizzee’s family disputed the LASD’s version of the fatal incident, claiming Kizzee was trying to surrender when he was shot.”He put his hands in the air,” famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Tuesday. “He put his hands in the air, dropped the bag, and they continued to shoot him, even though he posed no threat.”
Family Handout via CBS Los Angeles
According to attorney Carl E. Douglas, an autopsy commissioned by Kizzee’s family found that he was shot a total of 15 times. Seven of those shots hit Kizzee in the back and three struck him while he was already on the ground.Douglas also heavily criticized the LASD, saying that there were no attempts by the officers to deescalate the situation and no warnings were ever given. Douglas also claimed LASD isn’t supposed to be conducting traffic stops in Los Angeles County, where that responsibility falls to the California Highway Patrol.”What this shows is Dijon Kizzee was not holding a gun in his hand when 15 shots struck him,” Douglas said. “What this shows is he was alive and bleeding and writhing in pain when the officers continued to stay away. When they got a shield first, and they had a shield walking up to the man while he was writhing in pain. All too often, law enforcement officers misinterpret writhing in pain as some sort of act of resistance.”Douglas also called last week’s press conference by LASD investigators a “sideshow” by LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to “save his embattled skin.”Kizzee’s family has called on LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to charge the officers who shot Kizzee. The shooting also prompted demonstrations outside of the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station, leading to dozens of arrests between demonstrators and deputies and accusations of excessive force, CBS LA previously reported.