A Washington, DC teacher visiting family in Los Angeles is now dead after LAPD officers repeatedly Tased him following a traffic accident. According to the Washington Post, police officials released body-camera footage of the incident in which 31-year-old Keenan Anderson is seen yelling,“They’re trying to George Floyd me!” referring to the Minneapolis man who was murdered in 2020 by then-police officer Derek Chauvin.
Anderson, who has been identified as the cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, is one of three men of color to die in an encounter with LAPD officers since the New Year began less than two weeks ago. Takar Smith, 45 and Oscar Sanchez, 35 were shot and killed in separate incidents by officers in the first few days of the month.
According to the authorities, at about 3:38 p.m. on Jan. 3, there was a traffic accident near the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard. A policeman riding a motorcycle noticed Anderson "exhibiting unusual behavior" and saw him running in the roadway. The officer on the motorbike continued to pursue Anderson after multiple drivers flagged to police that he might be to blame for the collision. The Police Department alleged that Anderson tried to carjack a vehicle before causing the wreck, according to KNBC.
The video shows Anderson telling police, “Somebody’s trying to kill me,” but didn’t specify what person he meant. Anderson also mentions that he’s lost the key to his car.
Video captures Anderson making an attempt to flee seven minutes later. According to the video, an officer pursued Anderson and ordered him to lie face down in the middle of the road.
Anderson screams, “They’re trying to kill me!” Then he cries out that the police were “trying to George Floyd me.” One officer is heard ordering, “Stop or I’m going to Tase you.”
According to body-cam video, Anderson is threatened with a Taser if he doesn't turn over onto his stomach. Another officer can be seen placing his elbow across Anderson's throat at the same time.
Then, as the man cries out once more that the police are "trying to kill me," an officer Tases Anderson for approximately 30 seconds.
The video shows Anderson was still restrained and laying in the middle of the road as authorities attempted to provide him with medical care. The body-camera film ends while Anderson is being transferred into an ambulance.
A police news release says Anderson was under arrest and then taken by ambulance to a hospital in Santa Monica where he suffered cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead.
The Washington Post reports that Cullors has community support in demanding the resignation of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, and for the officers to be held accountable. She also questions why it was necessary for armed officers to arrive at the scene of a car collision. Cullors told the Post, “He yelled out, ‘They’re trying to George Floyd me!’ and they did just that,” she said. “And that’s really hard to digest.”
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is still investigating Anderson’s death and has not yet ruled on its cause and manner. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has called for all of the officers involved in the three separate incidents to be “placed on immediate leave.”
Cullors said Anderson was a 10th grade English teacher at the Digital Pioneers Academy public charter school in Washington.
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