Black man is killed by Los Angeles sheriff's deputies, sparking protest

The fatal shooting of a Black man by sheriff's deputies after officers pursued him on his bicycle Monday sparked protests in the South Los Angeles neighborhood where he was killed.

The man was identified Tuesday as Dijon Kizzee, 29, by Los Angeles County medical examiner spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani. Kizzee's cause and manner of death have not yet been determined, according to online case records.

Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean said late Monday that two deputies from the agency's South Los Angeles station were driving when they saw a man riding his bicycle in violation of vehicle codes, according to the Los Angeles Times. It was not known which codes were allegedly broken, Dean said.

When deputies tried to stop Kizzee, he dropped his bike and ran, with deputies in pursuit, Dean said, according to the Times.

Deputies again tried to make contact with Kizzee, and he punched one of the officers in the face, according to Dean. At that point the man dropped a bundle of clothes he had been carrying. The deputies spotted a black handgun in the bundle and both of the officers opened fire, Dean said.

A statement from the sheriff's department said deputies "contacted" a man on a street about eight miles south of downtown Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.

"During the contact, a fight ensued between the suspect and deputies. The suspect produced a handgun and a deputy-involved 'hit' shooting occurred," the statement said. "The suspect’s handgun was recovered. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene."

Image: Los Angeles protest (Christian Monterrosa / AP)

Image: Los Angeles protest (Christian Monterrosa / AP)

Image: Los Angeles protest (Christian Monterrosa / AP)

The department did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday morning.

that appears to have been shot by a bystander — and which contains disturbing content and profanities and other offensive language — shows a man carrying what appears to be a bundle and running on a sidewalk as two deputies watch. NBC News does not know what events occurred prior to what is shown on the video, which was posted to Facebook.

The video cuts to a scene of two deputies pointing guns at a man who is lying on the ground on the street next to a curb. He is face down and does not appear to be moving.

Story continues

Other deputies arrive at the scene, and at one point officers appear to be leaning over the prone man and putting handcuffs on him.

“How you gonna handcuff a dead man?” a voice is heard yelling on the video.

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NBC News does not know if the man was dead yet at this moment in the video.

The sheriff's department has not identified the deputies involved in the shooting.

Multiple investigations are being conducted into the incident, which is standard procedure whenever there is a fatal shooting by a deputy, the sheriff's department statement said. These include probes by the county medical examiner and the sheriff's homicide and internal affairs bureaus. The county's office of the inspector general oversees the investigative process, the statement said.

Protests sparked by the shooting drew more than 100 people, according to NBC Los Angeles. In aerial footage, dozens of people could be seen peacefully gathered in the neighborhood of Westmont, where Kizzee was killed.

Kizzee's aunt, Fletcher Fair, told reporters Tuesday that she was sad and upset over her nephew's death.

"He should be as free as anybody else," Fair said, according to NBC Los Angeles. "My nephew was sweet. He loved his mom and his little brother."

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., whose congressional district is next to the area where the killing occurred, asked Tuesday what bike violation was so severe that they needed to stop Kizzee.

"What bike violation is so severe that they needed to shoot him as many times as they did?"

. "If he dropped a weapon, why was he then shot?"

The incident comes about two and a half months after Andres Guardado, 18, was killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy just four miles south of Monday’s shooting.

Guardado was fatally shot by deputies on June 18 after the officers allegedly saw him with a gun and pursued him as he ran away, the sheriff's department said. Both an official county autopsy and an independent autopsy by the family found Guardado was shot in the back five times.

Guardado’s family, who have said they are waiting for answers as to why he was killed, said that he was working as a security guard when he was shot.

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