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Letters to the Editor: Sheriff’s deputies shot a Black man who they say dropped a gun. Outrageous

Protesters in South L.A.
Protesters face off with Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies hours after Dijon Kizzee was killed in South L.A. on Monday.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Your Sept. 1 print editition subheadline, “Officers kill bicyclist who they say dropped a gun,” says it all. (“Family, activists decry shooting death of Black man by L.A. County sheriff’s deputies,” Sept. 1)

So, even dropping a gun to the ground won’t keep a Black man from being shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies? I always thought that was exactly what one is supposed to do to avoid becoming another victim of our “shoot first, then ask questions” cops.

But I guess when you are Black, even that won’t be enough to keep you alive.

How much more of this will we have to put up with before something is done? I’d bet that if the cyclist had been white and riding around “in violation of vehicle codes” in Beverly Hills or Westwood, he’d have gotten nothing more than a citation and sent on his way.

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S.R. Allen, San Diego

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To the editor: This is exactly the type of police behavior cited by many Black men, including prominent political and sports figures, who have been singled out for police attention for no apparent reason other than being Black.

I frequently drive in Santa Monica and Venice and often witness bicycle riders breezing through stop signs, riding the wrong way on one-way streets and engaging in other illegal behavior. I have never seen any being cited or stopped, even when the action occurred in the presence of a patrol car.

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Yet here a Black man is stopped and then chased when he ran — a not surprising reaction given the danger inherent in being stopped by the police if you are Black. We must put a stop to the discriminatory use of police power directed at minorities.

Darrel Miller, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Sheriff’s deputies stopped this man because he was “riding his bicycle in violation of vehicle codes.” What was he doing? Riding on his handle bars? Something else?

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Stopping him was a choice these deputies made, thereby inviting an interaction that ended with this Black man’s death. I am fairly certain they would have made a different choice had this been a white kid in a predominantly white suburb.

I am also certain that this young Black man, whose life ended, could have been arrested without further incident. He “dropped a bundle of clothing,” and deputies “spotted a black handgun in the bundle.”

This man was unarmed. Shooting an unarmed man is not justifiable, nor is it proportional use of force.

This incident exemplifies everything policing should not be. It amounts to terrorizing communities of color. It is why people demonstrate against police violence and why law enforcement must be reimagined and rebuilt by the communities it is meant to serve.

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Martina Ebert, Claremont


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