(Screenshot via footage released by Louisiana State Police and Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office)
Tinted windows and a modified exhaust pipe are why Derrick Kittling’s Chevrolet Silverado was pulled over in Alexandria, Louisiana, earlier this month. And in 58-seconds, an officer shot the 45-year-old Black father of three in the head.
This weekend, Louisiana State Police, in coordination with the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s office, provided the first look at multiple videos, including body and dash cam footage, from the Nov. 6 shooting. The update, which included a press conference Sunday as well as a 12-minute video dissecting the footage, also revealed the name of the officer involved—Rapides Parish Deputy Rodney Anderson—and why the routine stop escalated in the first place.
In the videos, Kittling doesn’t appear to know why he’s being stopped.
“What is wrong with you, why are you grabbing on me, man?” Kittling asks Anderson as the officer grabs him by the wrist.
“Turn around and up your hands behind your back,” the deputy says.
“For what? For what bro?” Kittling asks.
On Nov. 6, Anderson reportedly pulled over Kittling’s pickup truck for the window and exhaust violations, according to Louisiana State Police Col. Lamar Davis. Three different videos were released of the incident: dashboard camera footage from Anderson’s patrol car, Anderson’s police body camera footage, and cellphone video recorded by a bystander. (This video is different from the one shared with VICE News last week.)
The body cam footage shows Anderson pulling Kittling over and stepping partially out of his patrol car. The dash cam shows Kittling stepping all the way out. Anderson then orders Kittling nine times to step closer to the back of his truck before he makes his way to the rear of the Silverado.
The dashboard video shows Anderson approach Kittling and asking him to face the truck.
“What’s the issue?” Kittling asks twice as the officer grabs his wrist.
“You’re agitated, you’re turning, and you ain’t following directions,” Anderson says.
“I am following directions,” Anderson says. “I don’t hear you. Can I get my phone, sir?”
“We’ll get to that, just turn and face the truck,” Anderson says.
After Anderson asks twice more for Kittling around, Kittling asks why he’s being stopped. Anderson then draws his taser with his right hand and Kittling immediately grabs the deputy’s wrist before the officer’s arm could be fully extended to point the weapon. Holding each other, the two fall to the ground and the taser can be heard going off.
As the two struggle out of sight of the dashboard camera, Kittling can be heard asking, “What’s wrong with you bro?” on the body camera footage.
“What is wrong with you, what are you grabbing on me, man?”
Kittling’s hand can then be seen grabbing the taser laying next to them, and the taser sounds off once more. The struggle continues for a few more seconds, as bystanders begin filming. From this angle, Kittling can be seen on top of Anderson. The Black man briefly gets to his feet before falling to the ground again in the struggle. Less than two seconds later, the deputy fires his gun. Only one shot can be heard on body camera footage, and police confirmed it struck Kittling in the head.
State police say Anderson called for emergency services, but Kittling succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to the hospital.
State Police confirmed during Sunday’s press conference that Kittling’s family was shown the police video before it was released to the public.
Last week, in an interview with VICE News, Haley questioned why Anderson chose to shoot Kittling after he grabbed a taser, considering that the cartridge in the taser had already been fired. On Sunday, Davis said that state police are in touch with the taser manufacturer and are verifying that this model, like many other traditional tasers, can only be fired one time per reload.
As previously reported by VICE News, Kittling was a mechanic who’d been visiting a friend in the Lower Third neighborhood of Alexandria to work on cars, according to his family’s attorney Ron Haley. In other bystander videos shared with VICE News last week, residents in the neighborhood can be heard saying Kittling was a frequent visitor to the neighborhood.
Anderson was in the Alexandria area, which lies outside of the Copseriff’s Office jurisdiction, because of prior reports of individuals “carrying weapons,” according to Davis. The Rapides Parish sheriff requested additional units go to that area to investigate but did not elaborate further.
Kittling’s family spokesperson, local community activist Tony Brown, told VICE News Monday that they still have questions about why Anderson was patrolling outside of his jurisdiction. They also question why Anderson didn’t explain to Kittling the reason for the stop, as Kittling asks in the video.
“I've never encountered in my 50-plus years of being on this planet, a police officer who did not let me know why I was being pulled over before he started putting hands on me to arrest me,” Brown said on the family’s behalf. “For this stop to take less than one minute ... from the time that officer got out of his vehicle to the time Derrick was killed is unconscionable and deserves an explanation.”
Davis said he doesn’t know when the state police will have another update for the public but promised to keep information flowing as the investigation continues. He asked the public for patience.
“There is an expectation that we can wrap up an investigation of this magnitude in a week or two, and that’s just not the case,” he said. “And you’re going to get the facts as we get them. And then we’re going to turn them over to the district attorney’s office and allow them to do their jobs.”
While traffic stops are considered routine police action, they can turn deadly, particularly for non-white people. From January 2017 through April 2022, officers killed 589 people during traffic stops, 28 percent of whom were Black, The Guardian reported. Earlier this year, in a case strikingly similar to Kittling’s, 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya was shot in the head by a Grand Rapid, Michigan, police officer after the two scuffled during a traffic stop. Last month, a Michigan judge ruled the now-former officer will stand trial on murder charges.
Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.