Read The $35 Million Claim Against LA County Filed By Dijon Kizzee's Family
The family of Dijon Kizzee, the 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot last August by Los Angeles Sheriff's Department deputies, this week filed a $35 million claim for damages against the county.
The claim, which is a required step prior to a lawsuit, alleges "intentional and/or negligent infliction of harm on Mr. Kizzee" and says that he "did nothing to justify this use of serious and unreasonable force against him."
Attorney Carl Douglas said this week that he expects the county to reject the claim, and that after that they will file a lawsuit. The claim alleges:
Mr. Kizzee was an African American male. None of the Sheriff deputies who assaulted, battered, and shot him was African American. The Claimants are informed and believe that because of implicit bias, each of the unknown involved Sheriff deputies assumed Mr. Kizzee presented a serious threat to someone’s safety, and then assaulted, battered and shot him more than 16 times in response.
The sheriff's department says Kizzee ran from two deputies who tried to stop him for riding his bike on the wrong side of the street in the Westmont neighborhood. The names of those deputies still have not been released.
Department officials initially said Kizzee was "making a motion" toward the gun when deputies shot at him 19 times. Later sheriff's officials said Kizzee picked up the gun, which his family disputes.
At the time of the shooting, sheriff's deputies were not yet using body-worn cameras. A surveillance camera from a nearby home captured some of the struggle between Kizzee and deputies, but the video is partially obscured by a wall and fence. The coroner found he was struck 16 times, at least five times from behind.
READ THE FULL CLAIM