On Wednesday, January 3, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, in a news conference, said that Keenan Anderson, 31, an English teacher and cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors died four hours after struggling with police officers due to a cardiac arrest. Los Angeles Police Department continuously used a stun gun on Anderson hours before he died.
According to Moore’s statement in the conference, Anderson tried to run away after a car crash, and officers used force to restrain him from investigating whether Anderson was under drugs or alcohol. LAPD released a video of the incident and two fatal police shootings on Wednesday.
“We must reduce the use of force overall, and I have absolutely no tolerance for excessive force,” Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement.
What happened during the traffic stop?
On Wednesday, Police, in their statement, said that people involved in the traffic crash indicated Anderson was responsible. An officer saw Anderson “running in the middle of the street and exibiting erratic behavior”. The officers then asked him for a DUI investigation.
Initially, Anderson followed the commands and tried to escape, as shown in the camera footage and bystander cellphone video released by LAPD on Wednesday.
Muniz, in the statement, said: “However, as the additional officers arrived, Anderson suddenly attempted to flee the location by running into the middle of the street,” she said in the video statement.
“The officers gave chase and ordered Anderson to stop. Anderson ultimately stopped and was ordered to get on the ground. As the officers attempted to take Anderson into custody, he became increasingly agitated, uncooperative and resisted the officers.”
At one point, an officer pressed his elbow into Anderson’s neck. At this point, he was on his back on the sidewalk. He then, while calling for help, said: “They’re trying to George Floyd me,”
Further in the statement, Moore said that officers tried to restrain him and used Taser on Anderson several times. He also added that the officers generally avoid repeated activations to avoid harming the person to restrain.
Finally, after four hours of struggling, Anderson was handcuffed and taken to the hospital.
What led to the Death of Keenan Anderson?
According to Moore, hours after the struggle medical emergency occurred, and Anderson was pronounced dead. The Police department also shows the preliminary toxicology report stating that Anderson has received cocaine and cannabis.
The coroner’s office has not yet confirmed the cause and manner of Anderson’s death.
“It’s unclear what role the physical struggle with the officers and the use of the Taser played in his unfortunate death,” Moore said.
Who was Keenan Anderson?
Keenan Anderson was an English teacher at the Digital Pioneers Academy, a majority-Black school in Washington, D.C.
Cullor, a cousin of Anderson, said on Instagram that Anderson “was killed by LAPD.”
“Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father,” Cullors said on Instagram. “Keenan we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence.”
The supporters of Black Lives Matter protested outside LAPD headquarters on Wednesday during the conference.
The founder and CEO of Digital Pioneers Academy confirmed the death in a statement, which reads:
“Our community is grieving. But we’re also angry,” Ashton wrote. “Angry that, once again, a known, loved, and respected member of our community is no longer with us. Angry that another talented, beautiful Black soul is gone too soon.”