Los Angeles police are under scrutiny following the in-custody death of the cousin of a key figure in the Black Lives Matter movement. Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old Washington school teacher visiting Los Angeles, died earlier this month hours after officers tasered him repeatedly.
Police said when they arrived at the scene of a Jan. 3 traffic accident in the Los Angeles area of Venice, they found Anderson running outside and exhibiting “erratic behavior.”
Wednesday’s release of the dramatic body camera footage the incident sparked angry demands for greater accountability from the police, who have faced accusations of unnecessary brutality in the past.
The footage shows Anderson lying on the pavement being held down by officers while another yells, “Turn over or I’ll hit you” and “Stop or I’ll hit you!”
A visibly agitated Anderson yells back: “They’re trying to kill me George Floyd… They’re trying to kill me” and “Help please – I’m not resisting, I’m not resisting.”
Anderson’s death — he was the third person to die in police custody in Los Angeles this year — sparked an angry response.
Mayor Karen Bass called for the immediate suspension of the police officers involved pending an investigation.
And Representative Barbara Lee of California tweeted: “I am outraged and heartbroken for Keenan…senselessly killed by the police.”
She called for “systemic reforms.”
In a video statement before the body camera footage, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Kelly Muniz, a spokeswoman, said investigations into officers’ use of force can often take up to a year.
“Our understanding of the incident may change as more evidence is collected, analyzed and reviewed,” Muniz said.
Anderson’s cousin, Patrice Cullors, co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 amid outrage over Floyd, a black man caught on video being kneed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Anderson, who was eventually handcuffed and shackled, was taken to a hospital and died four hours later.
The cause of death has not been officially established.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that Anderson resisted arrest.
“Officers struggled with Anderson for several minutes, using the TASER, body weight, firm grips and joint locks to overcome his resistance,” the report said.
But Kallors and others have questioned this version of events.
“My cousin, Keenan, was actually very scared and he repeatedly asked for help, and unfortunately that’s not what he got from the LAPD,” Kallors told the Los Angeles Times. “Why was there no help? Why was my cousin not offered medical attention” at the scene.