THE ANGELS – The African-American man who died on August 31 at the hands of two policemen was shot 19 times and carried a stolen pistol, the Los Angeles sheriff’s office reported Thursday.
Two weeks after the event that rekindled protests against police violence in Los Angeles, the authorities did not specify the crime against road safety for which they pursued the man, whose identity and possession of the weapon they did not know until a subsequent struggle occurred.
“I cannot say what the exact violation was, he was simply riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the road,” Captain Kent Wegener, of the Sheriff’s Department of the Californian town, responded at a press conference.
At the conference, the event in which Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year-old African-American citizen, died after receiving 19 shots, according to the official autopsy, was reconstructed.
Officers reportedly tried to arrest Kizzee at around 3 p.m. but the man turned around, got off his bike and fled with several items of clothing wrapped in his hand.
When they managed to get close for the second time, the person being pursued hit one of the policemen and in the middle of a tug of war, one of the articles of clothing fell to the ground, suggesting that it was wrapped in a pistol.
The moment Kizzee tried to pick up the weapon, the officers fired 19 times to kill him.
“In the next steps the investigation will have to determine if the performance was correct,” said the captain.
As confirmed by the spokesman, none of the policemen knew the identity of the man when, in the first instance, they proceeded to arrest him while he was riding a bicycle on the road, committing a “traffic offense”.
In post-death inquiries, investigators discovered that Kizzee had a history of various prior crimes and was violating an order preventing him from possessing firearms.
They also found videos on his phone that focused on the same gun, a semi-automatic model registered in Las Vegas and stolen in 2017.
Before the explanations, the Los Angeles sheriff, Alex Villanueva, justified the police activity in the south of the city by using several maps that show the number of homicides, shootings and crimes in the neighborhood where the events occurred, Westmont.
“There are people there who are trying to survive in an area that is practically a war zone,” he said.
The investigation remains open.