Louisiana State Police released body camera footage showing a Rapides Parish sheriff’s deputy fatally shooting an unarmed Black man in the head during a traffic stop. The Nov. 6 incident sparked outrage in the predominantly Black city of Alexandria.
In the video, Derrick Kittling, 45, is seen being stopped by Deputy Rodney Anderson in Alexandria, in central Louisiana, while driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup during the day in a residential neighborhood.
In the body-cam footage, when Kittling steps outside of his vehicle, the deputy tells him to “stay right there” but also says to walk toward his truck, which Kittling was standing beside after getting out of the driver’s seat.
Anderson is never heard saying why Kittling is being stopped. When Kittling asks why he is being stopped, Anderson does not answer.
Anderson then tells Kittling to “walk over here,” but Kittling appears to be confused.
“Walk to your truck,” the deputy says while Kittling is standing by the truck’s door and the deputy remains in his car.
Anderson then steps out of the patrol car and asks Kittling to keep his hands out of his pockets. Kittling then walks to the back of his pickup truck, as directed. Anderson grabs Kittling’s left arm.
“What’s the issue?” Kittling asks Anderson.
Anderson says Kittling isn’t following his orders and tells him to turn and face the truck. Kittling asks the deputy if he can get his phone, but the deputy responds “We will get to that” and stops him from getting his phone.
Kittling appears to remain confused during the entire encounter.
“What I did? What is wrong with you? While are you grabbing on me, man? Why are you grabbing on me, bruh?” Kittling asks Anderson.
“It’s tragic with what happened to Derrick, but unfortunately it is more than likely to happen again.”
– Rev. Randy Harris, Mt. Triumph Baptist Church in Alexandria
The deputy tells Kittling to put his hands behind his back several times, but Kittling, still confused, asks Anderson, “For what?”
At this point, just about 4 minutes and 30 seconds into the interaction — a struggle begins.
The sheriff’s office said that Anderson “lost control” of the Taser and that Kittling retrieved it while it was on the ground during the struggle.
In the video, the deputy can be seen pulling out the stun gun and firing at Kittling. Kittling appears to try to block the Taser before the two end up struggling on the ground. Kittling appears to grab the taser while it is on the ground. It is unclear if Kittling ever points the taser toward Anderson.
The officer is seen fighting with Kittling from various angles. The struggle lasts about one minute, then the deputy fires a shot.
“Shots fired, shots fired,” Anderson says.
From the deputy’s dashboard camera, he is seen carrying the gun and looking at Kittling while he is on the ground.
Anderson then makes a call toward other officers and tells them he shot Kittling in the head.
Col. Lamar Davis, head of the Louisiana State Police, told local media during the press conference that Kittling was stopped for a window tint violation and having a modified exhaust.
When asked by reporters on Sunday, Louisiana State Police did not indicate whether Anderson violated department policy.
“We are also gathering that information with regards to their protocols, their policies, their training and so forth. And we will be able to better determine that information once we receive that,” Davis said at the press conference.
Davis also said the agency had not determined whether Kittling was tased. Davis also would not say if the taser ever struck Anderson during the struggle.
“We can’t say for certain that he was actually tased or whether the officer was tased. There is a lot that goes into researching this.”
Kittling’s family has retained civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump to represent them.
Since Kittling’s fatal shooting, protests have been held throughout Alexandria.
“That sheriff’s department under the current Sheriff Mark Woods has a plethora of problems when it deals with African Americans,” Rev. Randy Harris, an organizer and protester in Alexandria, told HuffPost. “It’s tragic with what happened to Derrick, but unfortunately it is more than likely to happen again. I have zero faith in the sheriff’s department.”