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Woman sues LA County for injury at Dijon Kizzee protest in southern LA

A woman who says her right hand was mutilated by a projectile fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy during a protest in September has sued the county in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by Gabrielle Bynum in the Central District of California on Friday, claims she was peacefully attending a protest condemning the fatal Dijon Kizzee shooting near the South LA police station when she was struck from behind by multiple police projectiles non-lethal, violating his right to freedom of expression and assembly, as well as his right not to be subjected to excessive force.

One of the projectiles, according to Bynum, fractured his right thumb, requiring surgery. She says she still struggles to use that hand for everyday tasks like writing, grabbing a doorknob, and turning the key in a car’s ignition.

“It was very terrifying and traumatic,” the South LA resident told The Times, adding that she had not attended protests against police violence since then. “I don’t feel comfortable risking going any more. It was … just too much for me.

County and sheriff’s department officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The trial also pursues anonymous MPs.

Protests outside the South LA Sheriff’s Station following the fatal August 31 shooting against Kizzee in nearby Westmont drew hundreds for weeks.

Kizzee, 29, has been shot more than a dozen times by MPs who tried to stop him for riding his bike on the wrong side of the street.

The department said during a fight with MPs, Kizzee dropped a jacket with a gun inside and MPs shot Kizzee when he picked up the gun and pointed it at them. Lawyers for his family have disputed this account, saying witnesses said Kizzee had nothing in his hands when he was shot and filed a lawsuit against the county.

In the days following the shooting, there were numerous clashes between law enforcement and protesters outside South LA Sheriff’s Station on the Imperial Highway, resulting in the use of force by MPs and dozens. of arrests.

After a series of protests over the Labor Day weekend, the department denounced the nightly protesters as “rebel and self-proclaimed anarchists” who are “dressed for battle”, alleging they had thrown “bottles of frozen water, fireworks, smoke bombs, metal pipes and pieces of cement to create chaos, damage and injury.

But of the dozens of arrests at that time, virtually all were held on suspicion of non-dispersal, rather than on more serious charges. Activists said in interviews that demonstrations of force by lawmakers during protests were not provoked.

Bynum alleges that on September 7, she was standing in a parking lot near the sheriff’s station during a protest as law enforcement officers in riot gear patrolled nearby.

“I heard the LASD [deputies] going back and forth with some of the protesters, “Bynum told The Times, noting that the protesters had told MPs not to shoot” because they were already pointing their guns. “

The lawsuit says Bynum heard voices rising, and seconds later many MPs opened fire on the protesters with pepperballs and stun grenades. Bynum, the lawsuit says, “saw no threat to MPs that would justify any use of force, and no warning was given.”

After falling to the ground behind a brick wall, the lawsuit says Bynum tried to run as her eyes burned from the chemicals. As she ran, he claims that she was repeatedly hit by projectiles.

Bynum told The Times she had not returned to work at Amazon since the protest and was on disability leave due to her injury.

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