LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Second District Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Board Chair Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First District, to establish a more transparent and sustainable process for conducting inquests for all cases involving fatal use of force by Sheriff Deputies. The motion also calls for a public investigation into the circumstances, manner and causes of death for Dana Mitchell “Malik” Young, Jr., Dijon Kizzee, and Samuel Herrera, who were shot and killed by LA County Sherriff’s deputies.
“No one is above the law. The families and communities that are left grappling with the pain of losing their loved one deserve truth and accountability. This is about providing additional oversight and transparency into the investigation of Deputy-involved fatal uses of force by establishing equitable policies and resources that will apply to all cases, not just the ones that make the news.” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “The barriers put in place by the Sheriff’s department require action to ensure the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) can do its job and that we are upholding our commitment as a County to equity.”
“Time and time again, residents who have lost loved ones at the hands of LASD deputies have been unable to receive information about the circumstances of their deaths and are given the run around,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, “I’ve heard these stories first-hand from many of my residents and, to that end, I feel a strong duty to support and stand beside them. Today’s action will help provide some sense of solace for those still seeking answers and hold deputies accountable through a transparent process. These policies shouldn’t be necessary, but unfortunately they are when law enforcement believes they are above the law.”
Currently, an inquest is made primarily through the approval of motions presented by the Board of Supervisors. This motion seeks to make a more accessible process for the public and families of victims to gain answers and justice by directing the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner in collaboration with relevant County departments and community stakeholders to report back in 90 days on establishing a criteria for determining when inquests should be automatically done and identify funding sources to ensure the Medical Examiner-Coroner is properly resourced to meet the public need for this service.
The families of Mr. Young, Mr. Kizzee, and Mr. Herrera are among hundreds of families that still seek answers for the death of their loved ones at the hands of Sheriff Deputies. According to a 2019 report by the OIG, the LA County Civilian Oversight Commission, 1,942 public record requests to the LA Sheriff’s Department made under the Right to Know Act (Senate Bill 1421) and California Public Records Act – which requires reports to be made public involving police shootings – were outstanding for 180 days without a response.
“Since 2000, 937 families—including Essie Justice Group member Ms. Khadijah Shabazz—have mourned the loss of a loved one because of shocking and unacceptable acts of violence by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. We have seen too many Black women lose their sons, daughters, partners, and loved ones due to this department’s lawlessness” shared Gina Clayton-Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of Essie Justice Group “These killings continue to impart a level of trauma and terror into the lives of residents while the LA Sheriff refuses to take the most basic steps on behalf of civil and human rights. Today’s passing of Supervisors Mitchell and Solis’s motion is necessary to provide the transparency, answers, and justice that Ms. Shabazz and all those who mourn the tragic killing of Dana Mitchell Young Jr. and countless others deserve.”
To read the full motion, click here.