LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An internal investigation into the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee by sheriff’s deputies in South Los Angeles was nearing completion, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday.
Villanueva vowed he would quickly make public “all the information we have,” but pushed back against calls by some activists to make public the autopsy report.
“We have one interview left to do of one of the involved deputies, and once we have that … we’re going to be able to hold a press conference and we’re going to release all the information we have up to that point — which is substantial,” Villanueva said. “But it is a very key interview we have to do first before we can release all the information, because to release it before we interview would compromise the integrity of the interview, and we do not want to do that.”
Kizzee was shot Aug. 31 during a confrontation with deputies near West 109th Place and South Budlong Avenue. Sheriff’s officials said he was riding a bicycle in the area and was stopped by deputies for an unspecified code violation.
After he was stopped, the sheriff’s department said he punched a deputy in the face and tried to run away — dropping a handful of clothing items containing a firearm. Sheriff’s officials said he then made a motion toward the gun, but Kizzee’s family and community activists claim he was not wielding a weapon and was actually running away when deputies shot him.
Villanueva said he hoped to have the investigation completed and the information made public in the next few days.
“We’ll have a lot of information that’ll give you the entire context of what happened, and it will answer all of the questions you might have,” he said.
On Wednesday, Kizzee’s relatives held a news conference calling on the coroner’s office to release the results of the autopsy. The sheriff’s department has placed a security hold on the report citing the ongoing investigation. An attorney for Kizzee’s family has alleged that deputies shot Kizzee as many as 20 times in the back.
The shooting has prompted a series of protests outside of the South Los Angeles sheriff’s station. Four nightly protests, held from Saturday through Tuesday, resulted in more than three dozen arrests after deputies declared the demonstrations unlawful assemblies. Villanueva said the declaration was made after some participants hurled objects at deputies.
The sheriff, who has repeatedly insisted that the groups protesting have been infiltrated by people from outside the area looking to instigate violence, again repeated those claims Thursday — joined by four people described as area business owners and activists.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)