A cyclist has been fatally shot by Los Angeles County police, the latest instance of US officers killing a black man, with officials and a family lawyer giving diverging accounts of the incident.
Dijon Kizzee, 29, was shot more than 20 times in the back on Monday afternoon (local time) after two sheriff's deputies stopped him for a bicycle code violation, said Benjamin Crump, representing Kizzee's family.
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said Kizzee, whose identity was confirmed by the county medical examiner-coroner, was shot fewer than 20 times after dropping a handgun and punching one of the deputies.
The killing renewed protests in the city by demonstrators angered at deadly violence against black people by police.
Such protests have become a near daily occurrence around the country after African American George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer in May.
"You don't kill any race but us and it don't make any sense," Fletcher Fair, Dijon Kizzee's aunt, told reporters at the site of the shooting where activists called for an independent investigation by California's attorney general.
Protests also continued in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over a white police officer's shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, seven times in the back, leaving him paralysed, and the unrest has become a major issue ahead of November's presidential election.
President Donald Trump arrived in Kenosha on Tuesday (local time) seeking to rally white supporters by defending police against criticism of brutality.
Kizzee was riding his bike on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles County's Westmont neighbourhood when two sheriff's deputies who had been driving by tried to stop him.
Kizzee abandoned his bike and ran for a block with the deputies in pursuit, Brandon Dean, a sheriff's department spokesman, told reporters on Monday (local time).
Kizzee then punched one of the deputies in the face, dropping a bundle of clothing he was carrying, the department said.
The deputies said a semi-automatic handgun was in the dropped bundle and both of them began shooting Kizzee, the department said.
Dean said he did not know what part of the bicycle code Kizzee was suspected to have violated or how many times the deputies shot him, other than saying it was fewer than 20.
His office declined to answer questions about the shooting and the status of the two deputies.
The county coroner was due to conduct an autopsy on Tuesday (local time).
#DijonKizzee, a 29yo Black man, was fatally shot by @LASDHQ deputies. Cops stopped him while riding his bike for alleged “vehicle code violation.” They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun. He didn't pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours. pic.twitter.com/CF1hVihywv
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 1, 2020
However Crump, a civil rights lawyer known for representing black victims of police violence around the country, wrote in a Twitter post: "They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun. He didn't pick it up but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours."
Crump asked on Twitter for people to send him any videos of the incident, saying sheriff's deputies are not required to wear body cameras.
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