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Breaking: Official Autopsy Report Confirms That Dijon Kizzee Was Shot From Behind Multiple Times By Sheriffs

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies stand in formation defending the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s station in the face of protests of the shooting and killing of Dijon Kizzee. (Brian Feinzimer)

[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]n Friday, The L.A. County Medical Examiner released the autopsy report of Dijon Kizzee, a 29 year-old man that was fatally shot by L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies on August 31 in Westmont, CA. Sheriff’s Deputies previously said they fired a total of 19 shots at Kizzee. An independent autopsy conducted by the family that was released on September 22 found that Kizzee suffered 15 gunshot wounds.

According to the L.A. County Medical Examiner’s report, Kizzee suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head, chest, shoulder, forearm, hand and buttocks. Additionally, Kizzee suffered abrasions to his face, shoulders, arm, right knee and chest. The L.A. County Medical Examiner’s report confirms what the family autopsy already revealed – Kizzee was shot from behind multiple times.

The report was placed on a “security hold” for nearly a month following the fatal shooting of Kizzee, beginning on September 2. On September 22 the department lifted the hold and on October 1 the report was completed, according to a spokesperson with the L.A. County Medical Examiner. According to the Sheriff’s Department, security holds are used to conceal information from witnesses and deputies involved in shootings.

Kizzee was killed in Westmont this August after two deputies approached him for allegedly riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the road. After losing Kizzee momentarily, deputies caught up with him again near 109th Place and Budlong Avenue. A physical confrontation ensued between the 29 year old and deputies before 19 rounds were fired at Kizzee. According to the L.A. County Medical Examiner, 16 of those shots hit Kizzee. The shooting happened blocks away from where an 18 year old was fatally shot by sheriff's in May and a 16 year old was killed by sheriff's in 2018

According to Carl Douglas, an attorney for the Kizzee family, Kizzee sustained multiple gunshot wounds while he was unarmed and on the ground. Pointing to a diagram at a September 22 press conference Douglas said, “[Gunshot wounds] E12 and E5 are elongated because Mr. Kizzee was on the ground when those grazing wounds were inflicted.”

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said that Kizzee was armed with a handgun when he was shot by Sheriff’s deputies during a September 17 press conference. Video evidence however does not show Kizzee pointing a gun at deputies before he was fatally shot (a wall obstructs the view.) And in initial reports, the department said that Kizzee only "made a motion" towards a gun.

A man who identified himself as the uncle of Dijon Kizzee mourns while speaking to a crowd who gathered to protest the shooting of Dijon at the site where he was shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies. (Brian Feinzimer)
A man who identified himself as the uncle of Dijon Kizzee mourns while speaking to a crowd who gathered to protest the shooting of Dijon at the site where he was shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies. (Brian Feinzimer)

The fatal shooting of Kizzee sparked a week of intense demonstrations targeting the South L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy station. Over 30 people were arrested and dozens of protesters and journalists were tear gassed and hit with less-lethal munitions.

On September 27, the family of Dijon Kizzee and community members came together to honor Kizzee, Andres Guardado, Anthony McClain, Ryan Twyman and other victims of police violence. Hundreds of people marched to the South L.A. Sheriff’s Station where they were met by deputies in riot gear. “The sheriff the other day tried to criminalize Westmont, tried to criminalize Dijon by saying that this area was gang territory,that there was gang warfare here.” Ernesto, a lifelong resident of South Central and community organizer, reflected on a press conference held by the Sheriff’s Department earlier in the week. “Anyone who lives in South Central understands that we don’t fear gang bangers, we fear the police.”

Since demonstrations and protests broke out across the country following the murder of George Floyd, local law enforcement in Los Angeles has been involved in a number of fatal shootings. According to public records obtained by L.A. Taco, between May 25 and September 16 the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department killed 10 people including Kizzee.

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