Attorneys for the family of a 29-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in August today announced their plan to file a claim against the county.
The lawyers for the family of Dijon Kizzee, including national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, are demanding $35 million — $25 million for “severe and substantial” damages incurred by his father, Edwin Kizzee, and $10 million for economic and injury costs to his estate “stemming from the intentional and/or negligent infliction of harm on Mr. Kizzee until the moment that he took his last breath,” according to the filing provided by attorneys.
The claim alleges the county failed to properly train the deputies involved, and that Kizzee “did nothing to justify this use of serious and unreasonable force against him,” among other allegations.
Dijon Kizzee was shot Aug. 31 by two sheriff’s deputies in the unincorporated community of Westmont, near South Los Angeles, where they initially stopped him for biking on the wrong side of East 110th Street.
Deputies said Kizzee refused to stop and, abandoning his bike, fled while carrying a gun wrapped inside a piece of clothing. He was confronted by the deputies shortly after on 109th Place, where one tried to detain him, the sheriff’s department has said.
The department contends that Kizzee had dropped a gun during the confrontation with deputies, then picked it up during the physical confrontation and raised it toward them, prompting them to open fire at him 19 times.
Kizzee’s attorneys denounced the department’s version of events and insists that Kizzee was shot with his hands in the air, then was shot repeatedly while he was on the ground.
In September, attorney Carl Douglas said an independent autopsy determined Kizzee was shot 15 times, and that he did not die instantly, but was “writhing on the ground in pain when officers opened up on him.”
The shooting of Kizzee prompted a series of protests outside the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station.
A claim is a legally required precursor to a lawsuit against a government.