On Monday, Aug. 31, Dijon Kizzee was shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies. According to the Sheriff's Department, two deputies, who have yet to be named, tried to stop Kizzee while he was riding his bicycle around 3:15 p.m. The man dropped the bike and fled on foot when he saw that police were after him, and then he punched an officer before the deputies found a semi-automatic handgun in his possession. Deputies then shot and killed Kizzee.
According to National Public Radio, the protest in the area was swift and the demonstration at the nearby sheriff’s station “continued past midnight." Family members and activists in Los Angeles are now demanding the names of the deputies involved and calling for law enforcement to be more transparent.
Nearby residents of the neighborhood where Kizzee was shot witnessed the incident and the treatment of the victim following the shooting. One man, Timothy Ingram, reported to the Los Angeles Times that officials did not cover the victim’s body, despite protests from the neighbors, and did not remove Kizzee’s body until around midnight or 1 a.m., “more than nine hours after he was shot."
Calls for L.A. County sheriff’s deputies to wear body cameras have come from the community after no footage of Kizzee’s shooting was released. The President of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, and other civil rights leaders planned to attend Tuesday’s meeting of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to request funding for this equipment.
Since George Floyd’s death at the hands of Derek Chauvin on May 25 of this year, more people have been drawn to the Black Lives Matter movement and they strive to advocate for the victims of police brutality. This has caused nationwide protests with marchers calling for justice from local governments, demanding the defunding of police forces, and asking everyone involved to remember the names of those lost this year and in years past, including the following: Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling and so many more. As of Aug. 23, this extensive list of names now includes Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old African American man shot seven times in the back. Now, with the addition of Dijon Kizzee, it is becoming increasingly clear that Black Lives Matter protesters are resurging, even as the news coverage of their protests is dwindling. As the list of names grows by the day, millions of protesters continue to call out injustice in the police system, even across the world.
The changes being called for are large; however, there are still those of the movement stopping to remember those whose lives were lost. In front of the place where Kizzee was shot and killed, a row of dozens of candles was lit and placed along with balloons and flowers, marking yet another gravesite for another black man killed by police. Those who the 30-year-old left behind mourned him, including his aunt Fletcher Fair, who thought of Kizzee as “more like a son to me,” and believed in her heart that “he was a good boy...He was never a bad person.”