/  09.03.2020

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has released body camera footage from the fatal arrest of Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by deputies on Monday (Aug. 31).

Deputies previously claimed that they had attempted to stop Kizzee while he was riding a bike, which had allegedly been a violation of an unidentified vehicle code. Kizzee dropped his bike took off running and the officers chased him down. Deputies say Kizzee punched one of them in the face as they tried to arrest him. In the scuffle, he dropped a jacket and allegedly a handgun on the ground. On Tuesday evening (Sept. 1), the sheriff’s department claimed that Kizzee “made a motion toward” the gun before they opened fire on him.

The now-released body camera footage shows an altercation between Kizzee and the two deputies, but doesn’t show where his jacket and gun fell. The Los Angeles Times reports Kizzee tried to get away from the officers and fell to the ground, at which point they began shooting at him. A front door camera of one of the nearby residents recorded sounds of 15 shots being fired, but did not record video of the shooting.

Witnesses of the incident have denied several of the deputies’ claims. Alida Trejo told the Times that she heard between eight and 11 gunshots and that she and other neighbors had yelled at the deputies not to shoot Kizzee.

“They say the man punched the deputy, but I never saw that happen,” Trejo said.

Latiera Irby — who had been inside her car on the street — told the outlet that Kizzee had come up to her window and offered to pay her money to drive him away.

“He said, ‘They’re coming to get me; they’re coming to get me,’” Irby said. “I didn’t know who he was running from, so I told him no.”

Kizzee and deputies then got into a scuffle and one of them backed away and shot him, she said.

“He had nothing in his hands,” she continued, adding that the other deputy fired again at Kizzee even though he had already hit the ground.

A resident on the street where Kizzee was killed also said neighbors yelled, “You don’t have to shoot him that many times!” and “You could have Tased him!” at the deputies between gunshots.

According to Plumas County Deputy Sheriff Ed Obayashi, per the Times, the deputies will likely face questions about why they opted to pursue Kizzee for such a minor offense and why they opened fire on him when his gun was on the ground.

Protests broke out after the shooting on Monday evening (Aug. 31) and have continued for the past two days.

See the graphic video of Kizzee’s arrest here.


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