‘We’re here for transparency’: Press conference calls for answers surrounding death of Derrick Kittling
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Family, community members and activists participated in a march and press conference surrounding the death of Derrick Kittling in Alexandria on Nov. 17. Kittling, 45, was shot and killed by a Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy earlier this month during a traffic stop in the city.
The march began at Alexandria City Hall at 3 p.m. and ended at the Rapides Parish Courthouse, where a press conference was held.
At the press conference, multiple speakers made statements, including one of the Kittling family’s civil rights attorneys, Ron Haley, and Kittling’s daughter.
“We lay our dad down in a couple of days, and we still don’t have answers,” said one of Kittling’s three daughters, Laneisha Alexander.
Organizers said the goal of the march and press conference was to demand justice for Kittling and urge the Louisiana State Police, who are investigating the case, to release the body and dash-camera footage of the traffic stop.
“We need the video. The full video. The whole video,” said Alexander. “We don’t want no pieces. We need the whole video.”
At the center of their questions surrounding the traffic stop was what happened moments before Kittling was fatally shot, including why the RPSO deputy was in the area in the first place.
“You tased him, and then you shoot him. You tase him and then you shoot him,” said Alexander. “You are trained, trained to protect us. You trained to protect us, but you out here searching, searching for us, for the color of our skin.”
Haley echoed his client’s frustration, emphasizing how the questions that remain do not give Kittling’s family closure or reasons for what happened in the final moments of Kittling’s life.
“Somehow, some way, a citizen from this community complying with the initial request of this deputy, unarmed for a routine traffic stop ended with his life being taken in less than three minutes from the initial encounter,” said Haley. “We have questions, and we demand answers.”
In their initial report, LSP claims Kittling was shot for reaching and allegedly gaining control of the RPSO deputy’s taser. However, Haley cast doubt on that claim. Haley shared that he has seen pictures of Kittling’s injuries showing taser markings. He claimed that if the taser had already been deployed, it was essentially an unloaded weapon.
“The deputy could not have been in fear of his life for Kittling reaching for a taser that was essentially non-useful, and if that’s the case, then there’s no justification to use deadly force,” said Haley. “With tasers, it takes about two to three minutes after a taser has been deployed to be placed back into its case and then charged up and ready to be used again.”
Haley confirmed that a struggle took place, but he said that does not warrant a death sentence.
“I believe it shows the shooting was unjustified, an unjustified shooting,” said Haley. “Someone getting into a fight is not a reason to shoot somebody. If you and I get into a fight, and I pull out a gun and shoot you, then I am going to jail. If you pull out a gun and shoot me, you’re going to jail. The same rules that apply to you and I should apply to the police too.”
Ryan Beaulieu, acting as defense alongside Haley, shared they hope to provide answers for the Kittling family.
“This family deserves answers,” said Beaulieu. “This family deserves transparency. This family deserves accountability.”
The full conference can be viewed below:
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