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Video shows Rapides deputy’s fatal shooting of motorist after traffic stop

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Video shows Rapides deputy’s fatal shooting of motorist after traffic stop

Nov 21, 2022 | 4:35 pm ET
By Frances Madeson
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Video shows Rapides deputy’s fatal shooting of motorist after traffic stop
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A screen capture of police dashboard camera video shows Rapides Sheriff's Deputy Rodney Anderson struggling with motorist Derrick Kittling after a Nov. 8, 2022, traffic stop in the Lower Third neighborhood of Alexandria. (Courtesy of Louisiana State Police)

ALEXANDRIA – Body-worn and dashboard camera video was released Sunday from a Nov. 6 shooting in which a white Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy killed a Black man during a traffic stop. 

Louisiana State Police are investigating the death of Derrick Kittling, 45, after Deputy Rodney Anderson pulled him over in Alexandria’s Lower Third neighborhood. Two angles of cellphone video from bystanders offer limited perspective on the confrontation. 

State Police also provided video, without audio, from a bystander up the street from the incident. It shows Kittling and Anderson in a struggle, with Kittling on top of the deputy at the start of the footage. Anderson then kicks off Kittling as the bystander moves the camera away. 

The sheriff’s office has said Kittling gained control of Anderson’s Taser stun gun, and that Anderson then fired his handgun in self-defense. The deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation takes place.

At a press briefing Sunday, State Police Superintendent Col. Lamar Davis said Kittling was pulled over for a window tint violation and a modified exhaust. Hours before the video was released to the public, Davis showed the footage to Kittling’s three daughters, his siblings and members of the extended family. A family response to the State Police presentation is expected in the coming days.

Warning: The video linked below includes graphic content. Discretion is advised.

The footage comprises 58 seconds of video from Anderson’s body-worn and dashboard cameras. It starts after Kittling pulls over his pickup truck and exits without being prompted.

Anderson, getting out of his police SUV, tells Kittling twice to “go to the truck,” and “walk right here” while pointing between their two vehicles. After being told thrice to “walk to the back of your truck” and once to keep his hands out of his pockets, Kittling complies as Anderson radios in the license plate number on the pickup truck.

As he walks toward Kittling, Anderson tells him to face his truck. Kittling asks the deputy, “What’s the issue?” While grabbing Kittling’s left wrist, Anderson answers, “Because you hesitated. You ain’t followin’ orders.”

“I am following. I don’t hear,” Kittling responds, making a gesture with his free hand to his ear. He then asks the deputy if he can get his phone, and Anderson tells him while continuing to hold his wrist, “We’ll get to that. Just turn and face the truck.”

Anderson then briefly grabs Kittling’s wrist with both hands, as Kittling asks “What I did? What’s wrong with you? Why you grabbin’ on me, man?”

Anderson continues to tell Kittling to face his truck and to put his hands behind his back, grasping both of Kittling’s wrists as they face one another. As Anderson attempts to draw his Taser with his right hand, Kittling grabs hold of the deputy’s wrist and the two men fall to the street.

 They are no longer visible in the dashboard camera footage, but Anderson’s body camera shows an up-close struggle during which the Taser can be heard deploying as the deputy shouts “10-18, 10-18!” into his radio, police code for an emergency or urgent situation. 

It is not clear from the footage whether the Taser prongs hit anyone.

Anderson is heard exclaiming twice and the Taser is knocked from his hand. As the men continue to scuffle Kittling says, “What’s wrong with you, bro?”

In a slow-motion portion of Anderson’s body camera footage, State Police note when Anderson draws and fires his Taser. It then shows the stun gun free on the ground and Kittling picking it up. After the sound of the Taser being deployed again, Anderson is seen holding his firearm, and Kittling swats his hand at it.

After a single shot is fired, the video shows Anderson reach for his radio on the ground and call out, “Shots fired. Shots fired.”

Another bystander’s video (warning: graphic content and language), different from the version State Police provided, has circulated on social media. It was recorded down the street behind the two vehicles. It shows the two men on the ground before a gunshot is heard.

The video then jumps to show Anderson walking back to his SUV and talking on his police radio, with Kittling motionless on the ground. 

“Shots fired, suspect down. Gunshot wound to the head. I’m bleeding from my head,” Anderson can be heard saying into his radio.

Kittling later died at a local hospital. 

The State Police investigation into the shooting continues, Davis said. Its findings and video footage will be turned over to the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office. 

There has been no word from State Police or the sheriff’s office about whether Anderson followed proper procedure during the traffic stop. Asked why Anderson was in the Lower Third area, Davis said the sheriff’s office had received reports about people with weapons there.

“I support the release of these videos to ensure the public has a transparent and unbiased account of what occurred,” Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood said, in part, Sunday in a statement. “Today’s release of the videos of the incident has provided context of what occurred. Anytime a serious injury or death is involved, it is a tragedy and families on both sides are impacted forever.”

At a press conference Thursday, Kittling’s family demanded the release of the footage, noting that Kittling was unarmed and that no reason had been provided why the deputy pulled him over. Civil rights attorney Ronald Haley, representing Kittling’s family, repeated the demands at the press conference held on the steps of the Rapides Parish Courthouse.

Kittling is the brother of one of the highest-ranking officers for State Police, Lt. Col. Kenny Van Buren, who was not involved in the troopers’ investigation of the shooting.   

A funeral service for Kittling was held Saturday morning. LaNeesha Alexander, his oldest daughter, lamented the loss of her father and their building memories and relationships at Thursday’s event. 

“He was the sweetest man ever,’’ Alexander said, wiping back tears. “… Y’all took that from us. Y’all took that from me and my sisters.”