On Monday, the family of Keenan Anderson announced they will be filing a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles after Anderson went into cardiac arrest and died during an altercation with police.
According to the suit, Anderson was tased six times by police during a struggle, causing his heart to flutter until it failed. He died hours later at a local hospital.
This is the second suit filed since the Jan. 3 death of Anderson. On Jan. 20, the family filed a required damages claim for $50 million, but it was rejected. The latest suit alleges civil rights violations, assault and battery, false imprisonment and negligence. Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump, along with attorney Carl Douglas, will be representing the family in the case and are asking for damages of $100 million from the city.
According to an autopsy, Keenan Anderson died from the effects of an enlarged heart and cocaine use, but family attorneys insist Anderson was no threat to police and did not deserve to die.
“It matters not why he was in distress because it’s clear from the body-worn footage that he was never a threat,” said attorney Carl Douglas during a press conference on Monday. “He spoke to the officers politely. He was always compliant. He never balled his fists. He never kicked. He never did anything to give an officer the belief that he was a threat.”
On Jan. 3, Keenan Anderson was tased and killed by Los Angeles Police after a traffic accident led to a police altercation.
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.
Video from the arrest shows officers struggling to detain Anderson and tasing him for more than 30 seconds straight before an officer pauses and then tases him again for five more seconds.
Once Keenan Anderson was detained and arrested, he was transported to a local hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead.
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.”
Activists and community leaders are demanding justice for Keenan Anderson as well as supporting the family through trying times.
The GoFundMe for Anderson has raised more than $29,000 with over 719 donations. The account, which was created by a user named Miesha, was created to help the family pay for funeral and memorial expenses.
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