Black cyclist shot 20 times by police who fired ‘as he lay face down on ground’
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A black cyclist was killed by two police officers who shot him 20 times – sparking a fresh wave of protests in the US.
Dijon Kizzee, 29, died on Monday afternoon after two sheriff’s deputies tried to stop him for an alleged bicycle code violation in Los Angeles.
A police spokesman claimed he punched one officer and dropped a pistol on the ground.
Lieutenant Brandon Dean, from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said the two officers opened fire when Mr Kizzee made “a motion that he’s going to pick up the firearm”.
However, eyewitnesses and prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Mr Kizzee’s family, have challenged its version of events.
Mr Crump posted on Twitter: “They say he ran, dropped clothes and a handgun. He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.
"Unlike LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department), LA County sheriffs deputies are NOT required to wear body cameras, so there's no known footage of what happened. If you witnessed this incident or have a video of it, DM it to my account NOW."
Another neighbour said she watched the scuffle and the shooting from her home.
Deja Roquemore told Reuters that she didn’t see Mr Kizzee throw a punch or drop a gun, and that he “wasn’t a threat”.
The 31-year-old mum said his clothes bundle fell to the ground after a brief chase, at which point Mr Kizzee yelled: “I don’t have anything. What do you want?”
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She claims an officer tasered him before the pair of them opened fire.
They continued to shoot Mr Kizzee he lay motionless on the ground, Ms Roquemore alleged.
“I watched him go from living, to dying to dead”, the mum said.
Tim Ingram, 52, who lives across the street from the scene, told ABC News that Mr Kizzee had his hands up when he was shot – and that the officers continued to shoot after he was down.
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Dean told Reuters that officers fired 15 to 20 shots but denied that a taser was used.
He said the officers saw Mr Kizzee riding his bike “in violation of the vehicle code” and tried to stop him.
He did not know what vehicle code Kizzee was suspected of violating, telling reporters on Monday: “It is not uncommon for deputies to conduct vehicle stops of bicycles.
“They have to adhere to the same rules of the road as a vehicle does."
The officers involved have been removed from active field duty pending an investigation.
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Peaceful protests afterwards erupted among the Westmont community on the southern edge of Los Angeles.
Demonstrators chanted “ Black Lives Matter ”, “no justice, no peace” and “say his name”.
Kizzee’s aunt told reporters on Tuesday : "I think this is so dirty of any department – sheriff's department or any department to kill people.
“They don't kill any other race but us and this don't make any sense.
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“Right now, I’m sad and I’m mad at the same time. Why us?…we’re tired. We are absolutely tired.”
Mr Kizzee's family has demanded the identification and arrest of the officers, according to Najee Ali, a spokesperson for their lawyer.
They also want the sheriff's department to immediately adopt body cameras, due to be implemented in autumn.
Activists also called for an independent investigation by California’s attorney general during the protests.
- Black Lives Matter
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