Attorneys representing the family of Dijon Kizzee said on Wednesday that he was shot at 15 times by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputies in Westmont as he ran away during a stop for bicycle code violations.
"Dijon Kizzee did not deserve to be executed like this in cold blood, as he was running away," said Ben Crump in a virtual press conference. "He was riding a bicycle while Black."
Crump is a prominent national civil rights attorney who also represents the family of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police in May, and Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed after Kenosha police officers shot him multiple times in the back at close range last month.
Crump also shared video footage on Twitter, showing the 29-year-old running away from deputies before being shot in the back. The clip shows a physical altercation between Kizzee and a deputy before he attempts to get away, running in the opposite direction when he is shot multiples times in the back.
Video Contradicts 'Made a Motion Towards the Gun' Claim
According to the Sheriff's Department, the shooting, which took place on Monday, occurred when two deputies from the South Los Angeles station spotted Kizzee riding a bicycle in violation of unknown vehicle codes.
When they approached him, Kizzee abandoned the bike and ran, after which a chase ensued. The deputies caught up to the suspect and Kizzee allegedly punched one of them when they closed in on him. Kizzee then dropped a jacket he had been carrying, and a black handgun fell to the ground, officials said.
The Sheriff's Department said on Tuesday evening that Kizzee "made a motion toward" the gun, and the deputies then opened fire, killing him.
The video footage released by Crump raises questions over the sheriff's department's allegation that Kizzee reached out for the firearm before he was fatally shot. Moreover, the deputies were not even wearing body cameras to substantiate the department's claim.
'Legalized Genocide of Black People'
"Every day seems to bring further, tragic evidence that it is dangerous for Black Americans to simply go about the ordinary motions of life in our country," Crump said in a follow-up tweet. "Breonna Taylor was killed sleeping while Black; Ahmaud Arbery was killed jogging while Black, and now Dijon Kizzee was bicycling while Black when he was executed."
"It's outrageous that a Black man pulled over by police for bicycle riding code violations would be shot in the back more than 15 times, then left on the ground, lifeless and handcuffed for hours," he added. "This is reality TV that no one wants to see anymore. It's the legalized genocide of Black people. What will it take to pass meaningful policing reform so that Black people are finally safe to live their lives in America?"