Deputies Tried to Cease Kizzee From Driving Bike Flawed Approach
SOUTH LOS ANGELES – The taking pictures of Dijon Kizzee by Sheriff’s deputies in August hit near house for Arnold Armstrong of Westmont, who lives simply 5 minutes from the place the lethal confrontation occurred.
Armstrong mentioned rising up in South Central, he spent his childhood feeling afraid of each Sheriff’s deputies and the LAPD.
“We had it tough as a child. We might be driving down the road to play ball and the sheriff, about three or 4 vehicles and police used to swoop on us and have us get off our bikes, flip them the wrong way up in search of serial numbers to see in the event that they’re stolen. And whereas they do this they make us put our fingers on the hood of their automotive,” Armstrong mentioned.
As he received older, the encounters made him really feel offended. Armstong mentioned he could be stopped, and has even had weapons drawn on him, for trying like any individual authorities needed.
“I by no means been pulled over or chased by them, something, for committing a criminal offense, by no means have. Mine is simply they see you, racial profiling,” Armstrong mentioned.
Regardless of his experiences, Armstrong mentioned he doesn’t imagine most cops or deputies are racist, however he feels there’s a systemic downside, particularly in areas like his group, that for years have been plagued with gun violence and gangs.
He additionally doesn’t imagine Sheriff’s deputies tried to cease Kizzee driving on his bicycle for a automobile code violation, as defined by the division.
Murder bureau chief Kent Wagener mentioned in a press convention Thursday that Kizzee was driving his bike on the improper aspect of the road. He couldn’t identify the precise automobile code that motion violated, however mentioned Kizzee was splitting site visitors.
The division additionally revealed movies from Kizzee’s mobile phone displaying him days earlier than the taking pictures filming the 9mm handgun in his pocket that deputies declare he pointed at them.
“Come on, ain’t no person stopped for a site visitors violation on a bicycle. Come on. That’s not true. I guess they had been in search of weapons,” Armstrong mentioned.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva mentioned his deputies don’t racially profile, however they do “criminally profile.”
On the press convention he confirmed statistics of violent crime for 2020 within the space of Westmont, which included 12 homicides in a 1-mile radius, 163 assaults with a lethal weapon, and 115 arrests of individuals with handguns. He mentioned residents there reside in a warfare zone.
“This could provide you with a really clear thought of what we do and why we do it. We’re attempting to save lots of lives. Plain and easy. We’re not on the market terrorizing. We’re not on the market racially profiling. We’re not engaged in systemic racism of any variety. We’re attempting to maintain folks alive,” Sheriff Villanueva mentioned.
Villanueva went on to say that most individuals, if encountered by deputies, cease and cooperate, and prompt that if Kizzee hadn’t run from deputies, the scenario might not have escalated.
He mentioned in an space as harmful as Westmont, his deputies are all the time on alert, even for minor violations.
“If one thing appears prefer it’s misplaced, or improper, that’s what elevates deputies’ curiosity. They’re educated to be proactive, in the correct method,” Sheriff Villanueva mentioned.
As for Armstrong, he mentioned his group is reeling not simply within the wake of Kizzee’s loss of life, but additionally the ambush assault of two Compton Sheriff’s deputies final weekend, an act Armstrong known as appalling.
He feels the one method progress might be made within the relationship between regulation enforcement and residents is for each side to come back collectively and attempt to perceive one another’s struggles and backgrounds.
“I all the time have hope that it’s sensible. As a result of in the future it’s going to occur. It’s,” Armstrong mentioned. “We simply have to start out from the underside and work again.”