Protesters gather in LA after black cyclist is shot dead by police

2 September 2020, 07:50

Protesters have clashed with police in Los Angeles and an officer shot a black cyclist
Protesters have clashed with police in Los Angeles and an officer shot a black cyclist. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Protesters have gathered in Los Angeles after a black cyclist was fatally shot by police.

Officers allege Dijon Kizzee, 29, ran away on foot after being stopped while riding a bike after they suspected him of breaking a code violation in South Los Angeles on Monday.

When they gave chase and caught up with him, they claim he then punched an officer in the face and dropped a gun.

Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean saidL “Our suspect was holding some items of clothing in his hands, punched one of the officers in the face and then dropped the items in his hands.

“The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semiautomatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”

Officers have not yet confirmed what code Mr Kizzee was suspected of breaking.

People protesting against police brutality marched on Tuesday evening from the shooting scene in the Westmont neighbourhood to a sheriff's precinct station.

The protest was peaceful and there were no arrests.

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It comes amid renewed demonstrations on the issue since the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

US president Donald Trump visited the city on Tuesday and blamed "domestic terror" for the violence which he declared "anti-American".

He made no reference to the underlying cause of the demonstrations or to Mr Blake, shortly after defending the armed Trump supporter who is accused of shooting dead two protesters in the city.

Despite objections of state and local leaders, Mr Trump toured the city - including the burnt remains of a block besieged by violence and fire.

He spoke to the owners of a century-old store that had been destroyed and continued to link the violence to the Democrats.

The president continues to blame his political opponent in charge of Kenosha and Wisconsin, while issuing dramatic warnings if their party should capture the White House.

In a speech on Monday, Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the violence, but also blamed the president for "fomenting the divide" that is sparking it.

"He doesn't want to shed light, he wants to generate heat, and he's stoking violence in our cities," Mr Biden said during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh.

Mr Biden went on to denounce rioting, looting and arson at recent protests.

"It's lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted," he said.