Sheriff picks non-community leaders to represent Blacks

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By Najee Ali

Contributing Columnist

The family of Dijon Kizzee and community residents continue to be outraged by the lack of transparency by Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Villanueva latest political stunt was holding a press conference Sept. 10 to criticize activists who have held daily peaceful protests outside the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station in support of the Kizzee family demanding that the deputies who shot and killed Kizzee be prosecuted for murder.

Kizzee is the 29-year-old African-American man who was stopped for a bicycle violation and then shot to death by sheriff’s deputies Aug 31.

Villanueva is attempting to use divide and conquer tactics by injecting plantation politics into the issue. He has selected a few Black puppets to speak on behalf of the Black community. Two of those Black puppets spoke at the Sept. 10 press conference.

Joe Collins is running for Congress against U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and Robert Foster is a campaign staff member for Collins. Collins and Foster should be ashamed of themselves. They backed up everything Villanueva said at the press conference.

Villanueva has not answered any of the questions asked by the Kizzee family, its legal team or advocates. We asked what the names of the deputies were who stopped Kizzee on his bike. Why did they stop him in the first place? What was the violation, not wearing a helmet? When will the autopsy be released? None were answered by Villanueva.

Collins is a political opportunist who is trying to portray himself as a law-and-order community leader. Yet no one in the community of South L.A. has ever heard of him.

I asked every resident and activist I have spoken to in the past few days who is Joe Collins? The answer I got is he is a Trump supporter, and Republican running against Auntie Maxine for her congressional seat.

His Facebook page states that he is an icon in the community of South L.A. and a U.S. military veteran. What Collins does not tell you, and all it takes is a simple search of Google to confirm it, is that he was kicked out of the military and received a dishonorable discharge. Collins is delusional.

He is not worthy to carry Maxine Water’s handbag. He is a prop and tool of the white supremacists in the Republican Party to replace Black leaders like Waters, who has fought for decades on behalf of Black and brown people in her congressional district and is known nationally for her strong and fearless advocacy.

Waters has been to the protests in support of the Kizzee family. Waters has met with the Kizzee family. Fletcher Fair, Dijon Kizzee’s aunt, has stated publicly on my Facebook Live video that she and her family support Waters. Collins is exploiting Kizzee’s death for political gain. Collins does not speak for the family or community of South L.A.

This writer is part of the tried and tested Black leadership with a 30-year documented and verifiable track record of being in the streets of South L.A. and nationally fighting for social justice. I have never ever seen or met Collins in my life.

I just returned from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where I participated in the several days of protest on behalf of Jacob Blake, the unarmed Black man shot in the back eight times in front of his children by a police officer and Louisville, Kentucky, for the Breonna Taylor protests.

Taylor was a 26-year-old African-American female employed as an emergency medical technician who was shot and killed in her home by Louisville police who went to the wrong apartment. And now I am back home dealing with the murderous county sheriff’s deputies who Collins loves and speaks so highly of.

As the spokesperson for the Kizzee family and their legal counsel attorney Ben Crump, I am in full support of peaceful protests. We do not care what city or state you are arriving from. If you are here to fight with us and demand justice for Dijon, you are a welcome guest in our city in the same manner activists welcomed me in Wisconsin, Kentucky and Minnesota for the George Floyd protests.

At noon Sept. 12, our protest for justice for Dijon Kizzee continues outside the South L.A. Sheriff’s Station on Imperial Highway

Send news tips via email to or follow him on twitter@Najee Ali.

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