No Charges for Cops in Killing of Man Who Was 'Biking While Black'

DA's office finds they were acting in self-defense when they fired on Dijon Kizzee
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2020 7:41 AM CDT
Updated Nov 16, 2022 1:29 AM CST
New Video Emerges After Man With Bike 'Violation' Killed
A protester holds a sign with a picture of Dijon Kizzee, who died after being shot by deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Monday in Los Angeles, Calif.   (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
UPDATE Nov 16, 2022 1:29 AM CST

Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies will not be charged in the fatal shooting of a man who was, the attorneys for his family say, killed for "biking while Black." Christian Morales and Michael Garcia stopped Dijon Kizzee for riding his bicycle in the wrong direction; he dropped the bike and fled, carrying a pile of clothing, from which a pistol dropped as the deputies struggled with him. They shot Kizzee when he picked up the firearm after it fell, the AP reports. The district attorney's office found the deputies acted in self-defense. Attorneys for Kizzee's family question why he was stopped in the first place, and claim he was fired on multiple times as he lay on the ground. He was struck by 16 bullets in the front and back. His family has filed a $35 million claim against the county, which often signals a lawsuit is forthcoming.

Sep 3, 2020 7:41 AM CDT

Conflicting narratives have emerged in the case of Dijon Kizzee, the 29-year-old Black man shot dead Monday by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after an incident reportedly involving Kizzee's violation of bicycle codes. USA Today reports that the sheriff's department, via a statement, contends Kizzee tried to run from deputies, punched one of them in the face, and dropped a jacket, out of which tumbled a handgun Kizzee then "made a motion toward." But one of the attorneys representing Kizzee's family says a graphic video of the shooting obtained by the Los Angeles Times shows Kizzee posed no danger to the officers and that he was shot for no good reason. The LAT notes the video is grainy and doesn't show everything (including where the jacket fell) due to fencing and a wall that cover up part of the scene.

Per USA Today, however, the deputies are seen firing from a distance after their scuffle with Kizzee, and the video "does not appear to confirm the sheriff's department's allegation that [Kizzee] 'made a motion' for a gun." One witness tells the LAT she didn't see Kizzee punch a deputy; another witness says Kizzee wasn't holding any weapon. ABC7 notes a second video from a doorbell camera recorded audio of at least 15 shots being fired. "Dijon Kizzee did not deserve to be executed like this in cold blood as he was running away," attorney Ben Crump, who's also worked with the families of George Floyd and Jacob Blake, said at a Wednesday presser. "That seems to happen disproportionately to Black and brown people in America." TMZ reports Crump and others are demanding the sheriff make public the names of the deputies involved in Kizzee's fatal shooting. An investigation is ongoing. (More Dijon Kizzee stories.)

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