TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A black cyclist was killed by police after being shot more than 20 times in the back during a bicycle violation stop, his lawyers said.
The killing of Dijon Kizzee has renewed protests in Los Angeles by demonstrators angered at deadly violence against black people by police.
The Los Angeles county Sheriff’s Department and a lawyer representing 29-year-old cyclist Kizzee’s family have given diverging accounts of Monday’s incident, the Mirror reported.
Two sheriff’s deputies opened fire at Kizzee after he dropped a handgun he was carrying and punched one of the officers, police said.
His attorney Benjamin Crump, who also represented the family of George Floyd, said they stopped him over a bicycle violation
Protests have become a near daily occurrence across the US after Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer in May.
They have continued in Kenosha, over a white police officer’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, seven times in the back, leaving him paralysed.
“You don’t kill any race but us, and it don’t make any sense,” Fletcher Fair, Kizzee’s aunt, told reporters at the site of the shooting on Tuesday where activists called for an independent investigation by California’s attorney general.
The unrest has become a major issue ahead of November’s presidential election.
Republican President Donald Trump arrived in Kenosha on Tuesday as he seeks to rally his base of white supporters by defending police against criticism of brutality.
Kizzee was riding his bike on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles County’s Westmont neighborhood when two sheriff’s deputies who had been driving by tried to stop him.
He abandoned his bike and ran for a block with the deputies in pursuit, Brandon Dean, a sheriff’s department spokesman, told reporters on Monday evening.
Kizzee then punched one of the deputies in the face, dropping a bundle of clothing he was carrying, the department said.
The deputies said a semi-automatic handgun was in the dropped bundle, and both of them began shooting Kizzee, the department said.
Dean said he did not know what part of the bicycle code Kizzee was suspected to have violated or how many times the deputies shot him, other than saying it was fewer than 20.
His office declined to answer questions about the shooting and the status of the two deputies on Tuesday.
The county coroner was due to conduct an autopsy on Kizzee on Tuesday.
However, Crump, a civil rights lawyer known for representing black victims of police violence around the country, wrote in a Twitter post: “They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun. He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.”
The attorney asked on Twitter for people to send him any videos of the incident, saying that sheriff’s deputies are not required to wear body cameras.