Essie Justice Group Fights for LA Families’ Right to Transparency in Important Board of Supervisor Vote

On September 28, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously 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 Sheriff’s deputies.

Essie Justice Group worked closely with Supervisors Mitchell and Solis to author the “Ensuring a Transparent and Independent Investigation into Deputy-Involved Fatal Uses of Force” motion in support of Essie member Khadijah Shabazz. Ms. Shabazz lost her loved one Dana Mitchell Young Jr. aka Malik, October 2020 at the hands of Deputy Kevin Walker. Since then, Ms. Shabazz has advocated for answers from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD). At every turn, LASD has obfuscated the facts, dodged accountability, disregarded state law, and has refused the family even basic human dignity. In addition to ignoring a Public Records Act request filed in November 2020, Los Angeles Sheriff’s has only provided a scant explanation about the shooting.  

“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. The 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.”

The passing of this motion allows the coroner’s office to conduct the inquests into the fatal shootings of Malik, Samuel Herrera Jr., and Dijon Kizzee. These three families are just a few among hundreds of families that still seek answers for the death of their loved ones at the hands of Sheriff Deputies. Essie Justice Group is continuing to support Ms. Shabazz in her family’s fight for justice.