The shooting of a black man by sheriff’s deputies earlier this week remained shrouded in uncertainty Wednesday.
The tragedy began when Dijon Kizzee was stopped by deputies in unincorporated Westmont about 3:15 p.m. Monday for “code violations” while riding a bicycle. But no one has yet said what the violations were.
The sheriff’s department says Kizee then tried to run off.
“Our suspect was holding some items of clothing in his hands, punched one of the officer in the face and dropped items in his hands. The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black, semiautomatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved-shooting occurred.”
Why Kizzee was shot even though he was not holding the weapon was not immediately clear, although the sheriff’s department has said that Kizzee “made a motion toward the firearm.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump was retained by Kizee’s family. He says Kizee was shot in the back more than 20 times. If true, it isn’t immediately clear why so many shots were fired.
The deputies who shot Kizzee were removed from the field pending a review, as is standard procedure, the sheriff’s department announced Tuesday night.
Sheriff’s deputies have not yet begun wearing body cameras. So Crump urged anyone with video footage of the confrontation to come forward. Some doorbell footage capturing the shots being fired was released Tuesday.
The shooting prompted protest demonstrations Monday night and Tuesday night, and activists demanded that the deputies involved in the shooting be arrested and prosecuted.