The police of Los Angeles fatally shot an African-American man who they said was armed on Monday afternoon, sparking widespread protests at the site of the encounter, AFP reported.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff department said that two deputy officers tried to stop the man, identified as Dijon Kizzee, for violating unspecified vehicle codes. But when they approached Kizzee, he got off the bicycle and ran away.
At a news conference, Lieutenant Brandon Dean said that the deputies caught up to the suspect a few kilometers away, and when they approached him, the man punched one of them in the face and dropped “items of clothing he had been carrying”.
“The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semi-automatic handgun, at which time a deputy opened fire,” Dean added. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither of the deputies were injured.
The Sheriff’s Department said the shooting was under investigation by multiple entities, including the district attorney’s office and the Internal Affairs Bureau, according to The New York Times.
Following the shooting, activist group Black Lives Matter LA tweeted a call for protesters to gather in the area. Up to 100 people gathered at the scene demanding justice for Kizzee.
The latest incident of police brutality in America came as President Donald Trump was headed for Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, where the police shot another African-American man Jacob Blake seven times in the back on August 23, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Two other people were shot dead and another was injured as protests against Blake’s killing turned violent last week.
The incident also came two months after an 18-year-old Latin American boy was shot five times in the back by the police near an auto body shop in Gardena, California.
The US has been witnessing massive anti-racism protests since May, following the death of George Floyd. On May 25, Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed African-American man, was killed after a white former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers involved in Floyd’s death – J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – were also charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. Another African-American man named Rayshard Brooks was shot dead by the police in June.