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Coroner's Inquests Ordered Into Deaths Of Dijon Kizzee, 2 Others Fatally Shot By LA County Sheriff's Deputies

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Inquests have been ordered into the deaths of three men who were shot to death by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to direct the coroner's office to conduct the inquests into the fatal shootings, all of which happened in 2020. The deaths of 47-year-old Dana "Malik" Young Jr., 41-year-old Samuel Herrera Jr., and 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee were all ruled to be homicides.

A woman holds a placard and flowers towards Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies blocking Imperial Hwy at the intersection of Normandie Avenue in South Los Angeles to protect the Sheriff's Department station as protesters gather for the fifth consecutive night in the wake of Dijon Kizzee's killing, in Los Angeles, California on September 9, 2020. - 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, was riding his bicycle the afternoon of August 31 in a south Los Angeles neighborhood when deputies tried to stop him for a code violation, according to the sheriff's department. It did not specify the nature of the violation. Kizzee fled on foot and when deputies caught up to him, he punched one of them in the face while dropping a bundle of clothing he was carrying, authorities said. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

The death of Kizzee, in particular, angered the South LA community and led to several days of protests, some of which turned violent. Kizzee was riding a bicycle last September when deputies tried to stop him for a code violation. Sheriff's officials say he ran from the deputies, who opened fire after they saw a firearm during a struggle.

A review by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is now underway to determine whether each shooting amounted to a lawful use of force.

The motion recommending the inquests were co-authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell.

"We do not know what happened during the course of these investigations and how they were conducted," Mitchell said. "The Office of Inspector General was not allowed to monitor every step ... and so concerns remain about their integrity given the lack of true, comprehensive, independent oversight."

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva lashed out at the inquests as a political attack and accused the supervisors of "trying to sell the idea that somehow (these men) were unjustly murdered by sheriff's deputies."

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