Police violence debate: Police officers shoot black people in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, a black man is shot by police officers and dies. Many questions are now open. Against the background of ongoing protests against police violence and racism, the case is causing a stir.

By Katharina Wilhelm, ARD Studio Los Angeles

Monday evening in Los Angeles: Shortly after it became known that 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee was injured by police gunshots, nearly a hundred people gathered in the Westmont district. The demonstrators want answers in a case that still has a lot of ambiguity in store.

According to police, officials had stopped Kizzee on his bike because he was said to have violated traffic rules. Which? The police have not yet released these details. Then the 29-year-old is said to have run away and hit an officer who hurried behind in the face – in the process he lost objects, including a semi-automatic weapon. The police then shot.

There are no videos of police body cameras

Eyewitnesses reported to local broadcaster ABC7 that he did not have a weapon, but a phone. He died “because of nothing,” says a local resident.

A total of 20 shots were fired, according to the family lawyer, who has now been turned on. The police deny that.

An autopsy should bring clarity. There are no bodycams, i.e. cameras that film what has happened from a police officer’s point of view. Some cameras are already widespread, but not everywhere in Los Angeles.

A mobile phone video is circulating on the net, but does not show the incident itself, but the sketch lying on the ground. People around the street questioned and verbally abused the police.

Kizzee’s family assume racist police violence

Westmont is an area in southern Los Angeles where the majority of Latinos and Blacks live. For many people there it seems already clear what happened: racially motivated police violence. The shots come at a time when the mood in the US is charged. The shooting at Jacob Black in Kenosha, Wisconsin, had recently provoked protests and riots.

The dead Kizzee’s family also believe that prejudice and racism contributed to the police shooting at him. His family has already called on the lawyer who also represents the families of Jacob Blake and George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, for example.

Editor’s note: An earlier version stated that black Jacob Blake was shot dead by police officers in Kenosha. This is wrong. He was shot and seriously injured.

Deutschlandfunk reported on this topic on September 2nd, 2020 at 05:41 am.


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