A relative of a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement died of cardiac arrest after being tasered multiple times by police. Officers said they were responding to a traffic collision when they saw Keenan Anderson, 31, “running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behaviour.” Edited body cam footage shows a distressed Mr Anderson initially complying with police while an officer appears to attempt to calm him and asks him to sit down several times.
Later, Mr Anderson, an English teacher, fled on foot into traffic where a motorcycle cop caught up with him and ordered him to lie on the ground.
Backup officers arrived and had difficulty detaining Mr Anderson, at least one officer orders him to lie on his stomach.
In the video, an officer repeatedly tells Mr Anderson: “Stop it or I’m going to tase you.”
Mr Anderson, during the encounter, screams: “They’re trying to kill me!” and “Please don’t do this.”
At one point, the father-of-one said officers were attempting to “George Floyd” him.
An officer eventually says “all right, I’m going to tase him”, before tasering him.
He was then handcuffed and restrained. Mr Anderson was attended to by fire department personnel before being taken to the hospital.
Around four and a half hours after officers first attempted to restrain him, he went into cardiac arrest at the hospital and died on January 3.
A preliminary toxicology report showed that Mr Anderson had tested positive for cocaine and cannabis, according to police. The Los Angeles Coroner was expected to conduct its own toxicology tests.
His cousin, Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement said on Instagram that her cousin was “killed by the LAPD”.
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She said: “Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father. Keenan, we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence.”
There was a protest outside of the LAPD headquarters following the incident.
Police chief Michel Moore said the release of the bodycam footage showed LAPD’s “commitment to full transparency” and asked for “public patience” while the incident was investigated.
He added it was “unclear what role” the officers played in Mr Anderson’s death. They have not been named by the LAPD.
Mr Anderson’s death makes a total of three people who have died during interactions with the LAPD this year, something Chief Moore said he is “deeply concerned” about.
Takar Smith, 45, and Oscar Sanchez, 35, were both shot and killed in incidents involving the LAPD since January 1.
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Takar Smith’s death was ruled a homicide by gunshot wounds, which is standard procedure following fatal police shootings
He was fatally shot after raising a 10-inch butcher-style knife above his head after officers used a stun gun and pepper spray. The LAPD said Officer Joseph Zizzo and Officer Nicolas Alejandre opened fire.
His wife told the 911 operator that he suffered from schizophrenia and was not taking his medication, however, officers failed to call in a specialist mental health team. The incident has prompted Chief Moore to call for additional training for officers.
Oscar Sanchez’s death was still being investigated by the Los Angeles County Coroner but he reportedly brandished a “makeshift spear” at police and after a confrontation was shot multiple times by arresting officers.