The California chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, today released the following statement after new developments into the police shooting of 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee in South Los Angeles. According to reports, an independent autopsy found that Kizzee was shot by two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies 15 times, including after Kizzee was already on the ground.
“Dijon Kizzee should be alive today,” said Samantha Dorf a volunteer leader with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s clear that police shootings are a part of gun violence in America, and we will continue to work in solidarity with our partners to end gun violence in all its forms.”
On August 31, Kizzee was stopped by two deputies for riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road. While some of the facts surrounding the case are currently in dispute, reports indicate that instead of attempting to de-escalate the situation, officers opened fire on Kizzee firing a total of 19 rounds in Kizzee’s direction.
Every year, police in America shoot and kill more than 1,000 people, according to data from Mapping Police Violence. Black and Latino people in the United States are also far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts. Police are nearly 3 times more likely to shoot and kill Black people than white people in the United States. On average, police kill 168 Californians every year. Black, Latino, and, American Indian Californians are far more likely to be killed by police than white Californians.
Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings. By encouraging de-escalation, utilizing early intervention systems, and ensuring that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable, use of force policies can ensure that laws help advance safety and promote trust in the police.
As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on marginalized communities in the United States. Black Americans represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the U.S. and are far more likely than white Americans to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence. In California, Black people are 10 times as likely as white people to die by gun homicide.
Statistics about gun violence in California are available here, and information on how California’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here. Read more about gun violence and police shootings here.