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FutureStarrAttorney #BenCrump Says His Team Has Obtained 'Consequential New Evidence'
Every week, Crump says he receives video footage of Black and brown people being brutalized by police officers. His legal team is working to break this cycle.
As "Black America's attorney general," Crump leads a national law firm with offices throughout California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Washington D.C. He has been working on civil rights cases since 1996.
Attorney Benjamin Crump recently announced his representation of the family of Dijon Kizzee, who tragically passed away after being shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies last August. As with his previous representation of George Floyd and Jacob Blake families, Crump will hold a virtual news conference later Wednesday with co-counsel Dale Galipo and Carl Douglas to discuss Kizzee's case.
Video obtained by the Los Angeles Times shows 29-year-old Kizzee engaged in an altercation with a deputy on a sidewalk. As he fell, two deputies opened fire, alleging that a gun fell out when Kizzee dropped his jacket as he fell and made "a motion" for it - leading them to shoot him. Unfortunately, footage does not confirm this assertion since there's fencing obstructing view at the time authorities claim shooting occurred.
In addition to the disputed video, investigators have said Kizzee was shot a total of 19 times during his struggle with deputies, and an independent autopsy commissioned by his relatives revealed 15 wounds on his body. Additionally, there was abundant blood present throughout Kizzee's body as he bled to death.
Though Kizzee's case continues to garner attention, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has yet to provide any new details about his death. It has been weeks since Kizzee's body was discovered.
The family has held two protests outside the South LA Sheriff's Station, demanding answers about their loved one's death. They are calling for police officers who killed Kizzee to be fired and an extensive investigation into what occurred. Furthermore, they want LASD to provide them with body cameras and other tools so that officers can better protect Black people in future encounters.
Kizzee's family reported that sheriff's deputies stopped him for riding his bicycle in the wrong direction and found a gun concealed within clothing. They warned him he would face charges of a felony if he didn't turn around.
Kizzee turned around and was immediately hit by 19 gunshots from two sheriff's deputies. They fired multiple shots at him before pausing for a few moments before unleashing another round of shots. As Kizzee desperately battled for his life, more shots continued to rain down upon him.
Kizzee battled back after the initial round of gunshots, punching one officer. Unfortunately, Kizzee was then struck with 16 remaining bullets which ultimately proved fatal for him.
In addition to the disputed video, Kizzee's family has held two protests outside South Los Angeles Sheriff's Station in order to demand answers about their beloved son's killing. They want the arrests of those responsible for his death made public and for an extensive investigation into what occurred. Their demands include a new trial as well as providing police officers with body cameras and other tools so they can better protect Black people.
Crump has dedicated his career to fighting for justice and equality for all peoples. He has represented victims of police brutality, civil rights violations and other wrongful acts, inspiring change through advocacy.
His work has been focused on inspiring American citizens to ask difficult questions about their criminal justice system and how Blacks are treated. Recently, he has been at the center of several high-profile cases such as George Floyd's murder and Trayvon Martin's.
He has also championed those affected by Flint, Michigan's water pollution and helped secure a settlement for the family of a nine-year-old boy paralyzed after an electric cart accident.
As a child, Crump gained insight into the world through reading newspapers with his grandmother. It was she who introduced him to renowned civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall - one of America's most notable Black lawyers.
Crump has always been an advocate for social justice and believes in the power of activism. He says we must empower local prosecutors, state and city officials, as well as activists to effect positive changes within our justice system.
In 2021, Crump and his team won a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of the family of a woman killed by Kentucky police during an attempted raid on her apartment. He has also secured large payouts for victims affected by Johnson & Johnson's baby powder ovarian cancer crisis as well as those poisoned by Flint water in Michigan.
Attorney Ben Crump is a Tallahassee-based civil rights attorney who advocates for the civil and human rights of others. He's often seen speaking at public events, holding rallies and addressing Congress about issues related to criminal justice reform.
He is a member of the Florida Bar, National Bar Association and Southern Civil Rights Law Center. In recognition of his work he has received various awards such as NAACP's Thurgood Marshall Award, SCLC Martin Luther King Servant Leader Award and American Association for Justice Johnny Cochran Award.
His career has been dedicated to seeking justice for families of victims of injustice, and he is proud to be the first African-American President of the National Bar Association. A fierce advocate for his clients' rights, he works tirelessly to raise public awareness about racism in our society.
In a recent interview with TPM, Crump revealed his team has uncovered "condamning new evidence" in the case of Malcolm X's murder. This included information uncovered during an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney that led to the exonerations of two men convicted of participating in the killing.
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney involved in the cases of George Floyd and Daunte Wright, believes Dijon Kizzee, the man shot 16 times by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies last summer, deserves a new trial. His team has obtained "consequential new evidence" which they plan on using during trial; this could result in another trial for 29-year-old Black man.
"It is essential for the family to receive a fair and thorough trial," Crump told CNN. He noted that evidence showed Kizzee's life was in jeopardy even before sheriff's deputies fired their weapons at him.
Crump is also asserting that the officer's mental state of mind was crucial in determining whether Kizzee died or not. He noted how the deputy shouted at Kizzee and called him a name, something which has been shown to be crucial in trials.
Crump is advocating that video footage from a security camera be utilized in the case. In it, Kizzee and a sheriff's deputy engage in vigorous struggle for several seconds before Kizzee breaks free and falls to the ground; shortly thereafter, another deputy arrives and opens fire on him within two seconds.
The Sheriff's Department reported that Kizzee punched one of the deputies in the face and dropped a bundle of clothing containing a gun at the scene, according to Captain Kent Wegener of their Homicide Bureau. That gun was later recovered at that location by detectives working at the scene.
Kizzee's family requested an independent autopsy, which revealed 15 times of impact to his body. Additionally, there were multiple scrapes and cuts throughout.
In addition to the video, another important piece of evidence is an internal sheriff's report which claims a deputy fired multiple shots at Kizzee while he lay on the ground. According to this report, deputies had not received proper training in using deadly force and failed to recognize Kizzee as a danger.
Kizzee's family has filed a lawsuit alleging the sheriff's department was negligent in training deputies and that officers used excessive force against him. The family is seeking $35 million in damages as compensation.
Although their claim is largely procedural, it represents an important milestone in the ongoing fight to bring justice for Dijon Kizzee and other Black people who have been killed by police. Furthermore, this action is part of a nationwide movement to hold law enforcement accountable for the deaths of Black men, women and children.
At a press conference today in Westmont, Missouri, the family of Kizzee will be joined by Crump and other attorneys to demand justice for their loved one. Wearing masks, buttons and shirts that read "Justice for Dijon Kizzee," they will demand accountability from those responsible for his death.