Family of Dijon Kizzee files $35M claim against LA County for unreasonable force in shooting death

Kizzee's family alleges that the department failed to adequately train their deputies

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The family of Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot 16 times last August by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, has filed a $35 million claim.

CNN reports that the family’s claim alleges that the department’s failure to adequately train their deputies involved in the shooting and accuses them of using excess deadly force.

Dijon Kizzee Los Angeles Sheriff
Dijon Kizzee (Courtesy of Dijon Kizzee Family)

The claim accuses the deputies on duty of “negligently, carelessly, and mistakenly investigated the presence of Mr. Kizzee who continued riding his bicycle away from them, and negligently concluded that Mr. Kizzee posed a serious threat to their safety, necessitating the use of deadly force against him.”

Kizzee’s father, Edwin Kizzee, is asking for $25 million for severe and substantial damages while $10 million would go to his estate for “stemming from the intentional and/or negligent infliction of harm on Mr. Kizzee until the moment that he took his last breath,” the filing read.

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Family attorney Carl Douglas expects the claim to be rejected. Douglas previously said Kizzee “was riding while Black.”

“Dijon Kizzee did not deserve to be executed like this in cold blood as he was running away,” Douglas said in September during a press conference.

Since the killing, which sparked days of protest outside of the South Los Angeles sheriff’s station, the department has yet to publicly identified the deputies involved.

A filing is usually the first step before a lawsuit is a precursor to a lawsuit. Kizzee’s estate and his father Edwin will file one this summer.

“I don’t care what color he was. He was human. He was my nephew and I love him very much,” Fletcher Fair, Kizzee’s aunt, said.

Douglas believes the lawsuit will lead the department to release the names of the deputies involved.

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Kizzee was killed in Los Angeles on Aug. 31, 2020, for “riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road” and “splitting traffic,” said LA Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Capt. Kent Wegener at the time of the death.

Dijon Kizzee Los Angeles Sheriff
(Credit: Dijon Kizzee family)

Investigators said Kizzee picked up a gun he dropped before two officers fired 19 rounds while video footage shows Kizzee running away from officers, according to a family attorney.

Kizzee suffered “rapidly life-threatening wounds” as some of the wounds were to the head, torso, and back, according to the Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s autopsy report.

“Justice, truth, and light cry out for identifying the names of the deputies that were involved,” Douglas said. “With the filing of this $35 million claim, we intend to bring a bright light on the virus that is raging in South Los Angeles and the vaccine for that virus is truth.”

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