South Central, Los Angeles– Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies were heavily armed during a press conference last week in South Central.
The LASD on Imperial near Normandie in South Central (South L.A for the gentrifiers) has become the site of turmoil in recent weeks, following the murder of Dijon Kizzee by police.
Kizzee was killed by LASD Monday Aug. 31, 2020 when police attempted to stop him for “code violations” after they spotted him bicycling near 109th and Budlong.
Following news of his death by police, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles put out a tweet calling their thousands of twitter followers to South Central.
BLMLA held space near the scene of Kizzee’s death that night and around 11:00 p.m they left. Some of the protestors who had been gathered went to the Sheriff’s station on Imperial, where they held a peaceful protest in front of the Sheriff’s station.
After marching down Imperial to Vermont and through the residential neighborhoods close by, the Black organizers called the protest to an end around 1:30 a.m.
The next night, rogue protestors began showing up to the Sherrif’s station in South Central after responding to fliers such as these:
There were no logos on the flier identifying Black organizations in charge of the protest. But fliers were shared on @inthistogether_la Instagram page of over 100,000 followers, saying protesters were needed in South Central because a protester was shot in the head by police with non-lethal bullets.
“They” also requested donations for protective gear and using the name of Dijon Kizzee to justify their donation requests.
After several nights of continued confrontation in front of LASD on Imperial, police held a press conference saying they arrested “violent protestors” who were not from South Central but had came to the community armed with weapons and acting aggressively towards police.
Several of the protestors however, took to social media to denounce the claims by police.
The following day, protestors held a press conference in the El Pollo Loco parking lot next to the police station, which was moderated by the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles.
Several protestors who had been in South Central, well as the mother of a young girl who was tear gassed by police, spoke during the press conference, while being surrounded by LASD who were heavily armed.
At one point, one of the officers snatched a young, Black, law-student by his shirt with both hands, as police advanced towards and closed in those gathered for the press conference.
These actions by law enforcement are nothing new to the Black and Brown residents of communities like South Central, who have been under the reign of police terror for decades. Our local police departments are already heavily armed and substantially funded.
We desperately need policy reform to strip police of their right to excessive and deadly force, along with the demilitarization of our local police departments.