A cousin of Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, died a few hours after being tasered and held down by Los Angeles police several times in the street.
Keenan Anderson, a teacher and father who was 31 years old, died in a Santa Monica hospital. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has released footage from a body camera that was used on January 3.
It shows Mr. Anderson pleading for help while being held down by police. Around 15:00 local time, the police who tasered Mr. Anderson was called to a car accident in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“They are trying to George Floyd me”
– Keenan Anderson
English Teacher, friend, mentor and so much more tased to death by the LAPD in this encounter:pic.twitter.com/EHgrFUx9dX
— Isaac G. Bryan (@ib2_real) January 12, 2023
At a news conference on Wednesday, Police Chief Michel Moore said that Mr. Anderson was guilty of hit-and-run, which is a crime. He said Mr. Anderson had attempted to flee the scene by trying to “get into another person’s car without their permission”.
When the police arrive, the video shows that Mr. Anderson is upset and tells the first officer, “Someone is trying to kill me,” even though there is no visible threat on camera.
At first, Mr. Anderson does what he is told and sits down, but when more police show up, he gets up and runs into the street, ignoring their pleas to stop.
Keenan screamed out, “They’re trying to George Floyd me.”
He knew what was happening and he was powerless to prevent it. Instead, the LAPD he stopped to help him—as the law requires civilians to do after an accident—pinned him down and tased him 7 times. SEVEN. Cruel & inhumane.
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) January 13, 2023
When the police find Mr. Anderson and try to take him into custody, he is at first cooperative, but then he starts shouting, “Please!” and “Help!” and “They’re trying to George Floyd me!” – A reference to the killing of a black man by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020.
An officer used the stun gun on Mr. Anderson for about 30 seconds after telling him several times to stop resisting arrest or he would “tase” him. He was being held down by other officers. After that, he was shocked again for about five seconds.
Police said that an ambulance came about five minutes after Mr. Anderson was tasered and took him to a nearby hospital. Police say that he died about four and a half hours later when his heart stopped beating.
The LAPD’s toxicology report showed that cannabis and cocaine were found in Mr. Anderson’s blood. The coroner’s office in Los Angeles County will do a separate report.
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The footage adds to the pressure on the LAPD, which has had three black or brown men die in less than a week after running into them. Officers shot and killed both Takar Smith, 45, and Oscar Sanchez, 35, at the beginning of January.
The mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, said that the events were “deeply disturbing.” The police said they were looking into the deaths of the three men.
Mr. Anderson lived in the area around Washington, DC, and was in Los Angeles on a trip. His death has caused activists to call for police reform again. Some of them think that police with guns should not be sent to traffic accidents.
The LAPD murdered Keenan Anderson. A beloved high school English teacher and father who FLAGGED THEM DOWN FOR HELP after a car accident. He was a threat to no one. He needed help and it cost him his life. The LAPD must be held accountable for this at all costs. #KeenanAnderson pic.twitter.com/fPQ6gYsmUO
— Travon (@Travon) January 12, 2023
Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter co-founder and Mr. Anderson’s cousin, told the Guardian: “My cousin was asking for help, and he didn’t receive it.”
“My cousin was scared for his life. He spent the last 10 years witnessing a movement challenging the killing of black people.” “He knew what was at stake and he was trying to protect himself. Nobody was willing to protect him.”
Ms. Cullors and other people want the LAPD chief to step down. Mr. Moore said that he released the video footage of Mr. Anderson quickly because there was a lot of interest in it. He said that 45 days is the norm.
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