Keenan Anderson, Teacher and Cousin of Black Lives Matter Founder ‘Tased to Death’ by LAPD

Keenan Anderson, a cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, was killed by Los Angeles police after he got in a traffic accident and called the police for help.

The officers who showed up repeatedly Tased and restrained Keenan in the middle of the street, according to body-camera footage and his family’s account.

via The Guardian:

Footage from the 3 January encounter released on Wednesday showed that Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old high school teacher and father, was begging for help as multiple officers held him down, and at one point said, “They’re trying to George Floyd me.” One officer had his elbow on Anderson’s neck while he was lying down before another Tased him for roughly 30 seconds straight before pausing and Tasing him again for five more seconds.

“My cousin was asking for help, and he didn’t receive it. He was killed,” Cullors told the Guardian after watching the LAPD footage. “Nobody deserves to die in fear, panicking and scared for their life. 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.”

An officer who first arrived to the car collision at around 3.30pm at Venice and Lincoln boulevards found Anderson in the middle of the road, saying, “Please help me.” The officer told him to go on the sidewalk, and issued commands, saying, “Get up against the wall.” Anderson held his hands up, responding, “I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry.” Anderson complied with the officer’s commands and sat down on the sidewalk. After a few minutes, he appeared to be concerned with the officer’s behavior, saying, “I want people to see me,” and “You’re putting a thing on me.”

Eventually, Anderson started to flee, at which point the officer chased him on his motorcycle, shouting, “Get down to the ground, now,” and “Turn over on your stomach.” Anderson repeatedly responded, “Please help me,” and “They’re trying to kill me,” as multiple officers arrived and held him down. One of them placed his elbow and bodyweight on Anderson’s neck while he was lying with his back on the ground. At this point, the officer standing above him shouted, “Turn over or I’m going to Tase you.”

During the Tasing, Anderson repeatedly said, “Help me,” as the officer told him to stop resisting.

Paramedics later arrived at the scene and took him to a hospital where, according to the LAPD, he went into cardiac arrest four and a half hours later and died.

Cullors and other advocates have questioned why it was necessary for armed police to show up to a collision.

“It was a traffic accident. Instead of treating him like a potential criminal, police should have called the ambulance,” said Cullors. “If there was a policy in which traffic stops were met with unarmed professionals who come to the scene to help with whatever situation has happened, that would have prevented my cousin’s death. And that would have prevented so many other deaths.”

She added, “These types of killings and this type of force will not be interrupted unless we have courageous elected officials come forward and challenge not just the police, but also the policies.”

This is unacceptable.

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