Protesters marched on Tuesday for the second day in a row from the scene where a Black man was fatally shot by deputies to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office, demanding answers over the latest deadly encounter between police and a Black American. The sheriff’s office has said Dijon Kizzee was stopped for riding his bicycle in violation of vehicle codes, tried to run away, and was then shot after dropping a bundle of items that included a handgun.
But with no body cameras in use by the deputies and no cell phone video yet to surface, activists say the public is being asked to take the sheriff’s department’s account of the incident at face value, and given the recent spate of, protesters are once again claiming injustice.
The two deputies involved in the fatal shooting have been removed from active field duty pending an investigation, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Brandon Dean said investigators had not yet interviewed the deputies, but he gave this account of the encounter: “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. The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semiautomatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
Family members at the scene told CBS Los Angeles that Kizzee, 29, was the man killed. Cell phone video obtained by CBS Los Angeles shows him running from deputies holding clothing moments before he was fatally shot, but no video of the shooting has emerged.
Kizzee’s death quickly sparked a protest march by hundreds of people from the scene of the encounter to the nearby South Los Angeles Sheriff’s station on Monday.
The sheriff’s department did not immediately provide more information on the traffic code violation that initially led deputies to stop Kizzee. Police said the handgun was recovered and no deputies were injured. TV news helicopters showed a gun near the body.
On Tuesday afternoon, for the second day in a row, dozens of protesters marched to the sheriff’s station.
“The police kill another Black man, another Black person, we’re tired of the injustice, we’re tired of the police brutality, we’re tired of being looked upon as fourth-class citizens, we’re tired of just not being treated equally,” protester Raheem Taylor told CBSLA early on Tuesday morning, after the first protest.
CBSLA said there were some reports of vandalism during the march, but no violence or arrests made. Protesters also spray painted inflammatory messages outside the sheriff’s station.
The shooting came just a day before the L.A. County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote on a motion to purchase hundreds of body cameras for deputies, who currently are not required to wear them, CBSLA reported.
“Why doesn’t the L.A. County Sheriff have bodycams?” asked Earl Ofari Hutchinson during the protest on Tuesday. The president of the L.A. Urban Policy Roundtable said: “All we have to go on with this latest shooting is one thing: their word.”
Neighborhood resident Arlander Givens, 68, questioned why deputies fired at a man who, according to the sheriff’s official, wasn’t holding a weapon.
“If he reached down to grab it, that’s different,” Givens told the Los Angeles Times. “But if it’s on the ground, why shoot? That means he was unarmed.”
Dean said investigators had not yet interviewed witnesses or reviewed any surveillance or cellphone video.
“Give us time to conduct our investigation,” he said. “We will get all of the facts of this case and eventually present them.”