LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Dismissing the release of videos and information surrounding the fatal shooting of Dijon Kizzee by two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as a “media-driven sideshow,” and attorney for the family said Friday that Kizzee’s killing was “an execution.”
Attorney Carl Douglas said in a statement that Kizzee’s family was “disturbed by the unspoken messages and half-truths expressed,” during the sheriff’s department’s Thursday news conference about the ongoing investigation.
“It was a media-driven sideshow, designed to deflect attention from the 19 shots two sheriff deputies fired at an unarmed man,” Douglas said. “Nineteen shots reflect poor training, and a failure to properly assess the need for deadly force. Nineteen shots reflect contagious fire and a fundamental lack of humanity for another living soul. Nineteen shots reflect poorly trained killers who over-reacted in assessing the need to use deadly force”
Douglas said that witnesses to the shooting said Kizzee was standing up with nothing in his hands when the younger deputy fired three shots at him.
“After Dijon fell and was no longer a threat to any deputy, both deputies then fired 16 additional shots into Dijon’s body, though he was already down, clearly mortally wounded, and posing no threat to any deputy,” he said. “That sounds like an execution to me.”
Kizzee, 29, was fatally shot Aug. 31 during a confrontation with the two deputies in South Los Angeles after he was allegedly stopped for riding a bicycle on the wrong side of East 110th Street.
“Kizzee refused to stop, fled on his bike until he fell, abandoned his bicycle and ran from deputies north on Budlong Avenue,” Capt. Kent Wegener said.
During the Thursday news conference, Wegener also said Kizzee was carrying a loaded handgun when he was stopped by the deputies. And though Kizzee dropped the firearm during a physical altercation with the deputies, Wegener said he picked it up from the ground and pointed it toward the deputies — leading to the fatal shooting.
“At one point, Kizzee’s pistol drops to the ground, he bends over, reaches, picks up the gun and is shot while he stands with the gun in hand,” Wegener said at the news conference, during which video footage of the shooting was released.
One of the videos released by the department shows the initial struggle, in which Kizzee can be seen swinging his arms at deputies. The sheriff’s department alleges that Kizzee punched a deputy in the face.
According to Wegener, one of the deputies did not recognize the object as a gun until “it came up and he saw the barrel pointing at him.”
Wegener said the deputies fired a total of 19 shots, striking Kizzee in the chest, arms, back and head. An autopsy report has not yet been finalized due to a pending toxicology report, though Wegener said his cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.
Deputies recovered a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, loaded with 15 rounds, from the scene, according to Wegener who said the fun was reported stolen during a Las Vegas residential burglary in February 2017.
The fatal shooting has prompted a series of demonstrations outside of the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station, leading to dozens of arrests between demonstrators and deputies and accusations of excessive force.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)