IndianaLocalNews

Local faith leaders responding to shooting death of Dante Kittrell

(Photo supplied/Elkhart Truth)
Some local faith leaders are responding to the prosecutor calling the police-involved shooting death of Dante Kittrell a justifiable homicide.
They’re renewing calls to invest in non-law-enforcement, clinician-led crisis response teams.
Pastor J.B. Williams of Abundant Faith Family Ministries says he has no confidence South Bend police can keep Black people safe in a mental health crisis. Pastor David Springer of the Berean Seventh Day Adventist Church says a family lost a son because police felt threatened by a toy gun and that’s why they executed their protocols.
Faith and community leaders want ten percent of the police budget shifted to mobile crisis response and mental health services.
Kittrell was killed July 29 near Coquillard Elementary School.
Body camera footage that was released on Wednesday showed that police tried to get Kittrell to calm down for roughly 45 minutes. Kittrell would respond with statements including “I’m ready to die,” “end this,” “fire it,” and “if I point my weapon at you, you have to do your job, right?” Kittrell was armed with what appeared to be a handgun, but was instead determined to be a highly-detailed replica of a tan Glock 9 mm.
Prosecutors decided that police had no way of knowing Kittrell’s gun was not real.
Officers have maintained that they only wanted to use deadly force as a last resort.
“He knew how to counter it. He knew what to say. He knew what to do, and he was unfortunately determined to end his life that way. It is a tragedy, but the important thing is there are some false narratives that have perpetuated over the past few weeks, and I encourage everyone not to just look at our presentation, but review the footage in full to get an understanding, and this is an example of when the vantage point really matters,” said South Bend Mayor James Mueller.
Kitrell was shot three times.
Many people in South Bend and St. Joseph County were wondering why a mental health response team was not called. South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski said the answer to that is simple.
“Why wasn’t a mental health crisis team called? They would not respond to an armed person in that state. Plain and simple. So, by the time you get to this situation, it’s too late. We’ve got to deal with mental health before we get to situations such as these,” said Ruszkowski.
Under Indiana law, deadly force is justified when a person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury.
“For people to point fingers when these officers who care about everybody, themselves secondary, infuriates me,” Ruszkowski added. “Obviously, I get emotional about this because these cops put their lives on the line and their hearts and souls into everything they do. And to receive the treatment they receive is wrong.”
Sean Drew, an attorney representing the Kittrell family, said he was not surprised that no criminal charges were filed and that he doesn’t believe local police agencies are capable of conducting an impartial investigation.

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4 comments

James Johns August 26, 2022 at 10:28 am

So maybe next time a mentally disturbed person is waiving a gun around and indicating that they want to “end this”, Pastor J.B. Williams should be called to diffuse the situation!

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Charles U Farley August 26, 2022 at 10:46 am

Send Williams and all the other rabble rousers to deal with it. Then WHEN (not if) they are killed by one of the people they want to “save” we will at least be free of some armchair quarterbacks.

These bleeding heart types are just clueless, but the people egging them on have ulterior motives. If they REALLY wanted to stop “suicide by cop” from happening, they would have to get involved long before the cops were called. That doesn’t further the narrative, though, so we will continue to see logical police responses used as a political football by the left.

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Lesco Brandon August 26, 2022 at 12:09 pm

Why didn’t the call the local chapter of BLM (Build Large Mansions) since the care so much about the community?!? Oh that’s right all the care about “woke stupidity” instead of the community, tell Rev. Williams that his “chickens have come home to roost”.

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Slacker06 August 27, 2022 at 3:14 pm

Sometimes a person, regardless of his or her color is so broke they just wants to be dead and doesn’t have the fortitude to do the deed themselves. These pastors, if they had any prior interaction with the deceased, failed in their job. So I don;t think I will listen to their harangue now. Maybe he would still be alive if these pastors had took the time to get him the medications he needed instead of accusing the police of doing a dirty deed. I’m sorry but they border on the hypocritical.

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