Dijon Kizzee tried picking loaded pistol before he was gunned down in hail of 19 bullets, LA County police say
Police, during a press conference on Thursday, revealed new details about the case, including a video taken from Kizzee's cellphone in the days leading up to his death
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, on Thursday, released new footage concerning the killing of Black cyclist Dijon Kizzee and claimed that the 29-year-old bent down to pick up a loaded pistol before he was shot dead by officers. Police fired at least 19 shots at Kizzee and allegedly left his handcuffed dead body on the street for hours, sparking a protest in the area. Police, during a press conference on Thursday, revealed new details about the case, including a video taken from Kizzee's cellphone in the days leading up to his death. Authorities said that although the 29-year-old died from multiple gunshot wounds, his complete autopsy is yet to be released to the public. It has been more than two weeks since Kizzee's death, which occurred on August 31.
Officers also revealed that the traffic violation officers had initially attempted to pull Kizzee over because he was riding a bicycle the wrong way down the street. Within minutes two cops shot and killed him while he was riding his bike in the Westmont area of South Los Angeles. Reports state that Kizzee, from Lancaster, was visiting his family in LA at the time.
LA County Sheriff's Captain Kent Wegener, during Thursday's press conference, said that Kizzee had a semiautomatic handgun loaded with 15 live rounds when two officers shot and killed him. Wegener added that Kizzee had dropped the pistol during a struggle with one of the deputies and had punched the officer in the head. The Sheriff's Captain added that when Kizzee bent over to pick up the gun, it was then when the deputies shot him dead. Wegener added that the gun in Kizzee's possession was reported stolen from a Las Vegas home in February 2017.
Shortly after the new development in the case was made by the officers, multiple people took to Twitter to question Wegener's account of events. One wrote: "At today's @lasdhq press conference, Capt. Kent Wegener declared unequivocally that both deputies had stared down the barrel of #DijonKizzee's gun. But the video they provided shows him dropping the gun almost 2secs before the 2nd deputy opens fire."
Another wrote: "Autopsy report has not yet been completed or published. Dijon Kizzee's gun apparently has not been tested or examined yet." A third added: "The police is NOT judge, jury & executioner. FCC your videos, you shot that man in his BACK! Anybody that owns a gun knows thats MURDER!! #cowards #dijonkizzee"
At today's @lasdhq press conference, Capt. Kent Wegener declared unequivocally that both deputies had stared down the barrel of #DijonKizzee's gun. But the video they provided shows him dropping the gun almost 2secs before the 2nd deputy opens fire. https://t.co/l4S8SQmiOD— sahra (@sahrasulaiman) September 18, 2020
Autopsy report has not yet been completed or published.— Scott Frazier (@safrazie) September 17, 2020
The sheriff's department also added that Kizzee, during the time of the shooting, was reportedly banned from owning or possessing a weapon at the time because of a restraining order and his criminal record as a convicted felon. Footage allegedly recovered from Kizzee's cellphone showed him with the same firearm in the days leading up his death, police revealed. In the cellphone video, the handgun was seen tucked in what appears to be Kizzee's trousers.
The 29-year-old's death sparked widespread protests in Los Angeles in a call to end police brutality in the country. Kizzee's death marked yet another cop-involved killing of a Black man in recent months. Nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism began after George Floyd's death, who died in police custody.