Los Angeles police officers have continued to kill civilians at alarming rates and under questionable circumstances in the last three months, despite a summer of unprecedented activism and growing political pressure from lawmakers.
Most recently, two deputies with the Los Angeles sheriff’s department (LASD) fatally shot a bicyclist, 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, who was fleeing after officers tried to stop him for an alleged “vehicle code” violation. The killing on Monday of yet another Black man in South LA was one of more than 10 fatal police shootings in the LA region since the George Floyd protests erupted at the end of May.
“If they are killing in this climate, even with the light that has been shined on this, then it’s obvious that it’s their intent,” said Myesha Lopez, 35, whose father was killed by LASD in June. “I think the protests are only making them more agitated, more trigger-happy, more volatile, more unstable. I don’t believe these officers have the ability to reform themselves.”
Police leaders have put forward accounts of each killing that they say justify the use of force. But civil rights activists and victims’ families say the repeated bloodshed is a sign that police continue to escalate conflicts and resort to violence, even in the most routine of encounters – and that a more radical response is needed to prevent the next tragedy. [Continue reading…]