Keenan Anderson: BLM Founder's Cousin Dies After Being Tased by Police

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said on Wednesday that teacher Keenan Anderson, who is also a relative of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, died after he went into cardiac arrest. His death came hours after he was tasered multiple times by police officers in a struggle on Jan. 3.

Keenan Anderson: BLM Founder's Cousin Dies After Being Tased by Police
Image credit: Police Handout [via BBC News]

Facts

  • Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said on Wednesday that teacher Keenan Anderson, who is also a relative of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, died after he went into cardiac arrest. His death came hours after he was tasered multiple times by police officers in a struggle on Jan. 3.
  • The news comes as authorities released body-camera footage of the incident in Venice, California, showing Anderson begging for his life while being detained. An officer appears to be restraining him – shortly after a traffic collision – by holding his elbow on Anderson's neck.
  • Though he was initially found in the middle of the road asking for help, Anderson eventually fled, seemingly concerned about a police official's behavior. He was Tased twice as an officer demanded that he stop resisting, and was later transferred by paramedics to a hospital where he died.
  • Police have stated that an autopsy carried out by their department found Anderson had traces of cocaine and cannabis in his system. LAPD Capt. Kelly Muñiz pointed out that witnesses described his behavior at the scene as "erratic" and blamed him for causing the collision.
  • Bodycam footage showing the killing of two other men, Takar Smith and Oscar Sanchez, during interactions with LAPD officers in separate incidents on Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 have also been released. Moore has expressed his "deep concerns" about the deaths, and vowed to ensure greater transparency into investigations.
  • The three incidents have renewed questions about fatal police violence in the US which, according to a 2021 study in the medical journal The Lancet that recorded over 30K deaths from police violence across the country from 1980 to 2018, is highest in non-Hispanic Black communities.

Sources: USA Today, Washington Post, Guardian, New York Post, Newsweek, and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Right narrative, as provided by FOX News. So far we know that the victim, who had cocaine and cannabis in his body, tried to flee the scene and resisted the arrest after causing a traffic collision. Despite BLM supporters mobbing outside LAPD headquarters, the role that police officers played in this case remains unclear, as the Los Angeles County coroner's office is yet to rule on the cause or manner of Anderson's death.
  • Left narrative, as provided by Daily Beast. The LAPD chief acknowledged that Anderson's death could have been avoided, as he was begging for his life before being tased to death in police custody. Clearly, efforts taken in the wake of the 2020 killing of George Floyd to curb police violence have failed to change the dire reality that Black people face in the US. Anderson was the third man of color to die in violent encounters with the LAPD in the span of a week: enough is enough.

Predictions