An independent autopsy commissioned by the family of a 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles deputies last month found that officers discharged 19 rounds, and struck the victim 15 times.
According to CNN, Dijon Kizzee, who was initially pursued by officers for violating a vehicle code while on his bike, was struck seven times on his back side. Kizzee subsequently bled to death. The autopsy suggests the fatal gunshot pierced his lung and the organs filled up with blood.
Attorney Carl Douglas, who represents Kizzee’s family, says the postmortem performed by Dr. John Hiserodt confirms his suspicions that the shooting was, in fact, an execution. He also believes that deputies wasted critical moments after Kizzee was shot before they called for help.
“He was shot 19 times and I can care less what Sheriff Villanueva said seeking to justify that lack of humanity,” Douglas said, citing the independent autopsy during an emotional press conference with the family. “Nineteen times of firing into a man’s body says to me that there’s been poor training.”
Reports from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department say deputies first tried to stop Kizzee on August 31 for “riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road” and “splitting traffic.” After they say Kizzee refused to stop at their warning, he hopped off of his bike and began fleeing with items in his hand. As he fled, he allegedly dropped a pistol that was stolen years prior, and as he attempted to pick it up, officers began firing.
Though deputies suggest the shots fired were in response to the presence of his weapon, attorney Ben Crump disagrees. He recently posted a video that he says confirms Kizzee was shot in the back and was not posing a serious threat to anyone.
The LA County medical examiner’s office confirmed earlier this month that Kizzee died from gunshot wounds and ruled his death a homicide. Kizzee’s family previously stated that they hope the two sheriffs deputies responsible for the shooting are charged and brought to justice.