A Black Lives Matter co-cousin founder’s passed away a few hours after being repeatedly tasered and held by Los Angeles police in the street.
Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old teacher, and father, passed away at a Santa Monica hospital. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has made the incident from January 3’s body camera footage public.
It reveals Mr. Anderson pleading for assistance as police hold him down. Around 15:00 local time, the Los Angeles police who tasered Mr. Anderson was summoned to a car collision in the Venice neighborhood.
At a news conference on Wednesday, police chief Michel Moore stated that Mr. Anderson had engaged in a felony hit-and-run following an accident. According to him, Mr. Anderson tried to leave the area by “getting into another person’s automobile without their permission.”
While there is no immediate threat shown on video, the footage shows Mr. Anderson in fear when the police arrive, telling the first officer that “someone is attempting to kill me.”
At first, Mr. Anderson follows instructions and sits down, but when additional police officers show there, he gets up and charges into the street, defying orders to stop.
Mr. Anderson initially cooperates when the police arrive and try to arrest him, but then he cries out, “Please,” “Help,” and “They’re Trying to George Floyd Me!” – a reference to the police officer-assassinated homicide of a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020.
After an officer repeatedly threatened Mr. Anderson to “stop [resisting arrest] or I’m going to tase you,” the stun gun was first used on him for around 30 seconds. Other officers had him restrained. He was tasered once more for around five more seconds.
Five minutes after being tasered, according to authorities, an ambulance arrived and took Mr. Anderson to a nearby hospital. He suffered a heart arrest and passed away around four and a half hours later, according to authorities.
The LAPD’s toxicology testing revealed that Mr. Anderson’s blood had positive results for cocaine and cannabis. A separate investigation will be made by the coroner’s office in Los Angeles County.
The video intensifies pressure on the LAPD, whose interactions with black and brown men have led to three fatalities in less than a week.
Officers shot and killed Takar Smith, 45, and Oscar Sanchez, 35, at the beginning of January. Karen Bass, the mayor of Los Angeles, described the events as “very troubling.” The three men’s deaths were under investigation, according to the police department.
Mr. Anderson was in Los Angeles on vacation but was from the Washington, DC, region. His passing has rekindled calls for police reform from campaigners, some of whom think that armed officers shouldn’t be sent to traffic accidents.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who is also Mr. Anderson’s cousin, stated to the Guardian: “My cousin asked for assistance, but he didn’t get any.
“My cousin was in extreme fear. He has spent the previous ten years participating in a movement that opposes the murder of black people.
“He was making an effort to defend himself because he realized what was at stake. Nobody wanted to stand up for him.” The LAPD police chief is being called upon to step down by Ms. Cullors and others.
Because of the public’s curiosity, according to Mr. Moore, he hastened the publication of the video footage of Mr. Anderson. It typically takes 45 days, he claimed.
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