A Black man was tased and killed by Los Angeles Police last week after a traffic accident led to a police altercation that would end in tragedy.
On Jan. 3, Keenan Anderson, 31, got into a traffic accident around 3:30 p.m. at Venice and Lincoln boulevard.
According to the LAPD, when officers arrived on the scene, Anderson was acting erratically and was running in the middle of the street. The officer began to talk with Anderson and called for backup to conduct a DUI investigation.
Officials said once more units arrived, Anderson started to get nervous and began to flee the scene.
That’s when, “officers struggled with Anderson for several minutes, utilizing a TASER, bodyweight, firm grips, and joint locks to overcome resistance,” the LAPD said in a written press release.
But body-camera footage, which was released this week, paints a picture of a scared Black man pleading for help as officers overwhelm him from all angles.
His visible screams of, “Help me please” are jarring to watch.
In the video, officers can be seen telling Anderson to, “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.
An officer then places his elbow and body weight on Anderson’s neck. Shortly after an officer standing over Anderson shouts, “Turn over or I’m going to Tase you.”
According to The Guardian, Anderson is then tased for roughly 30 seconds straight before the officer pauses and then tases him again for five more seconds.
Police reports claim that Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded and rendered medical aid to Anderson before taking him to the Hospital.
Keenan Anderson would die four and a half hours later from cardiac arrest.
Anderson, who is the cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, was a dedicated high school teacher and father. His tragic death has sparked outrage in the community as family and friends demand justice and accountability for his death.
“My cousin was asking for help, and he didn’t receive it. He was killed,” Cullors told the Guardian after watching LAPD’s 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.”
Cullors also questioned why police would even show up with guns drawn to a vehicle collision when people are looking for help.
“It was a traffic accident. Instead of treating him like a potential criminal, police should have called the ambulance,” Cullors told The Guardian. “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.”