The family of Tanisha Anderson, who died Nov. 12 while being restrained in police custody, filed a civil lawsuit on the basis of excessive force against the city of Cleveland and the officers involved Wednesday.
Officers Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers "intentionally and maliciously" applied and threatened to apply unlawful and unnecessary force, according to the complaint.
Additionally, the family challenges the police department's "policy, practice and custom," stating that it failed "to adequately investigate and discipline police officers who use excessive force on citizens." The Department of Justice's recent findings that the city has a pattern of this misconduct was also cited.
"This policy, practice and custom was the moving force behind the excessive force used against Tanisha Anderson and proximately caused her suffering and death," the document continues.
Anderson's death was ruled a homicide, according to a Cuyahoga County medical examiner report released Friday.
The 37-year-old woman lost consciousness while being physically restrained by police officers during a mental health episode. Other factors in her death included a heart condition and bipolar disorder. She reportedly was schizophrenic.
The city failed to provide Anderson her civil rights and to train officers in dealing with people with mentally illnesses, the complaint states. The family is also suing for physical, emotional and psychological trauma that Tanisha Anderson suffered and the "grief, depression and severe emotional distress" the family endured.
They are requesting a trial "on all claims triable to a jury."
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_.
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(Photo: Tanisha Anderson Family)
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