Riding Your Bike While Black or Latino Can Get You Shot by the Pigs

| revcom.us


On August 31, 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee was murdered in cold blood by members of the LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD). They had stopped Kizzee for riding his bike on the wrong side of the street. Kizzee ran away on foot, yelling, “They’re going to kill me.” The pigs fired 15 shots into Kizzee’s back—continuing to shoot even after Kizzee had fallen still. People took to the streets for weeks protesting this vicious murder. (See here for previous revcom.us coverage.)

The killing of Dijon Kizzee was outrageous enough. But as it turns out, the pigs murdering someone riding a bike after stopping them for a very minor violation is a pretty routine thing, according to an October 16 article in the Los Angeles Times. There have been 16 cases in Los Angeles County just since 2005 where the cops stopped someone for a bike violation—like no lights, riding on the wrong side of the street or on the sidewalk—and ended up shooting the person. Most of these shootings happened in Black and Latino communities. In 11 of these cases, including Kizzee’s, the bicyclist was Black or Latino and was KILLED. Some people have just stopped riding their bike after constantly being stopped and harassed by pigs—which at any point could turn into something deadly.

In addition to Dijon Kizzee, the Los Angeles Times cited these examples:

  • May 2014—23-year-old Noel Aguilar was riding his bicycle on a sidewalk when he saw a couple of LA County sheriffs and quickly rode away. Minutes later, Aguilar was dead with three bullets in his back.
  • February 2012—When 26-year-old Christian Cobian was stopped because his bike didn’t have any lights, he ran. Deputies said they thought Cobian had a gun and fired 13 rounds, killing him. No gun was found.
  • May 2007—Two Inglewood cops in an unmarked car tried to stop 20-year-old Richard Tyson from riding his bike on the sidewalk. They said he was a “gang member.” Tyson kept riding and said, “Why are you always messing with me? I’m just coming from the store.” The pigs, who said they saw a bulge in Tyson’s shirt, chased him to the backyard of an apartment complex and then fired six rounds, killing Tyson. Paramedics found a packaged T-shirt in Tyson’s sweatshirt pocket and there was no gun.
  • October 2012—44-year-old Alfonso Cerda was run over and killed after deputies pulled into a driveway to block Cerda’s path. The deputies said they were trying to detain Cerda because his bike didn’t have proper lights and that Cerda had a gun. No gun was found.

In this white supremacist country (now with a genocidal racist at its head), it’s a common saying that a person can be killed by the pigs for driving while Black—DWB. It’s clear that RWB/L—riding your bike while Black or Latino—can also make you a target of police brutality and murder.

For more, see “Deputies killed Dijon Kizzee after a bike stop. We found 15 similar law enforcement shootings, many fatal,” by Nicole Santa Cruz and Alene Tchekmedyian, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2020.

Dijon Kizzee

Noel Aguilar

Christian Cobian

Richard Tyson

Alfonso Cerda



Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:

Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.