Sheriff: One Deputy In The Dijon Kizzee Shooting Is Yet To Be Interviewed
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said today that one of the two deputies who fatally shot Dijon Kizzee in South L.A. has so far declined to be interviewed by detectives.
A week and a half after the controversial Aug. 31 shooting, the sheriff said investigators have to wait until a deputy is ready to be interviewed.
"If we force the deputies to be interviewed, it becomes a compelled statement," Villanueva told a news conference outside the department's South L.A. station. "And then we cannot use a compelled statement."
Such statements could not be used in any criminal case against a deputy — just like they couldn’t be used against a civilian accused of a crime.
The sheriff said the deputy — a training deputy, according to a source — is expected to talk to detectives in the next few days.
But the delay is a problem, according to former Sheriff’s Commander Rod Kusch, who once oversaw such investigations. As time passes, deputies’ memories can fade or their stories can change, he said.
"This is why police officers interview victims of crime and witnesses of crime right away," Kusch told us.
Villanueva said once detectives have interviewed the deputy, the department will release all the information it has on the case, including "video, with the entire context of what happened, and it will answer all of the questions you may have."
Key questions center around the department's claim that Kizzee had a gun, and that the deputies opened fire when he "made a motion" toward the weapon after dropping it on the ground during a tussle with one of the deputies. The department says the incident began when the deputies tried to stop Kizzee for a still undisclosed vehicle code violation while he was riding a bicycle.
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