Officers from the Los Angeles sheriff’s department fatally shot a man who dropped his gun while fleeing.
Twenty-nine-year-old Dijon Kizzee was riding his bike when Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies stopped him for an unspecified traffic violation. The incident happened Monday afternoon in the Westmont neighborhood, just moments after the police stop, per Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean.
The officers reportedly approached Kizzee on foot, and the man then dropped his bike and took off running, Dean said in a Monday press conference. Kizzee had run a block just before police caught up with him, that’s when he punched one of the officers in the face. In the midst of that, Kizzee dropped a bundle of clothing that was carrying a semi-automatic handgun. In response, officers began shooting at Kizzee, firing at least five times. But some witnesses say they heard several more shots. None of the cops were injured, but Kizzee was murdered at the scene.
Witnesses who recorded the video can be heard in the background. “They smoked him,” said one man. Another person said, “Why would you all do that?” Someone else questioned, “What happened to your Taser?” A witness told NBC 4 that Kizzee put his hands in the air after dropping the clothing. “The people were saying, ‘Don’t shoot!’ He didn’t have no gun in his hands because when he dropped the towel, he put his hands up,” a witness told the outlet.
Another witness said there was no reason for the cops to shoot Kizzee. “He had a towel, and he had his clothes, and his pants couldn’t even stay up, so that’s what made him slow down, so they had enough to get him,” she said. “They didn’t have to shoot him more than five times. What’s the use of having the prison system if y’all are just gonna kill us?”
Vice reports that the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is conducting several independent investigations. There is no word on whether the offices involved will face any disciplinary actions.