Louisiana police release footage of officer fatally shooting Black motorist | US policing

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Footage of a deadly traffic stop in central Louisiana between a Black motorist and white officer, which spiraled into a 30-second struggle on the ground before the officer fired his weapon, has been released by state police.

Ben Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney representing the family of Derrick J Kittling – the 45-year-old motorist fatally shot in the head – called the death “unwarranted” and “completely preventable”. In addition, Crump demanded that the officer involved, Rapides parish sheriff’s office deputy, Rodney Anderson, be fired and accused him of profiling Kittling. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave while Louisiana state police investigate.

“Law enforcement officers who act without consideration of the deadly consequences of using force should not be serving our communities,” said Crump, who has taken on some of the nation’s most high-profile police killings of Black people, including representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. “This community deserves to know that law enforcement in their communities will protect and serve, not inflict deadly harm.”

Video of the officer-involved shooting on 6 November – recorded on the deputy’s body camera, the dashboard camera in his patrol vehicle and also taken by a nearby bystander – was released on Sunday, “to give the community a better understanding” of the case, Lt Melissa Matey, a state police spokesperson said.

The video begins with Anderson pulling over Kittling, who is driving a pickup truck, in a residential area of Alexandria around 1.20pm for a “violation with his window tint and modified exhaust”, said Col Lamar Davis, the superintendent of Louisiana state police.

At no point in the recorded interaction did Anderson tell Kittling why he was pulled over. When asked whether Anderson followed proper procedure for a traffic stop, Davis said he was unsure of the sheriff’s office policies and protocol.

Anderson can be seen unholstering his Taser at which point a struggle ensues, with Kittling grabbing the deputy’s wrist and both men seen falling to the ground.

At one point, state police said that Anderson lost possession of his Taser and Kittling retrieved it. Seconds later a shot from the officer’s firearm is heard.

“Shots fired. Shots fired,” Anderson says into his radio. He walks back to his SUV, with Kittling motionless on the ground. “Shots fired. One subject down. Gunshot wound to the head. I’m bleeding from my head.”

Kittling was transported to a local hospital, but was pronounced dead. Anderson had minor injuries, according to law enforcement.

Davis asked the community to “remain patient as we continue to conduct a very thorough investigation”.

“There are witnesses that we have to interview. We have additional evidence that we have to secure … what’s next is to continue to conduct a very thorough investigation,” Davis said. “We’re not going to take any shortcuts. We’re going to turn over every stone we can to make sure that we get the facts for this investigation.”

Louisiana police release footage of officer fatally shooting Black motorist | US policing

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