A Black Lives Matter co-founder’s cousin passed away a few hours after being repeatedly tasered and held by Los Angeles police in the street.
Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old teacher and father, passed away at a Santa Monica hospital, reported the BBC.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has made the incident from January 3’s body camera footage public. It reveals Anderson pleading for assistance as police hold him down.
He can be heard stating, “They’re trying to George Floyd me,” at one point — a reference to the homicide of a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2020 by a police officer.
Anderson, who was visiting Los Angeles and was from Washington, DC, has not yet been given an official cause of death, as per the outlet.
The video intensifies pressure on the LAPD, whose interactions with black and brown men have led to three fatalities in less than a week.
Karen Bass, the mayor of Los Angeles, described the events as “very troubling.” The three men’s deaths were under investigation, according to the police department.
Around 15:30 local time, the officers who tasered Anderson were called to the area in response to a reported traffic collision.
At a news conference on Wednesday, police chief Michel Moore stated that Anderson had engaged in a felony hit-and-run following an accident.
According to him, Anderson tried to leave the area by “getting into another person’s automobile without their permission.”
While there is no immediate threat shown on video, the footage shows Anderson in fear when the police arrive, telling the first officer that “someone is attempting to kill me.”
At first, Anderson follows instructions and sits down, but when additional police officers show there, he gets up and charges into the street, defying orders to stop.
After an officer repeatedly threatened Anderson to “stop [resisting arrest] or I’m going to tase you,” the stun gun was first used on him for around 30 seconds. Other officers had him restrained. He receives another taser for around five more seconds.
According to authorities, Anderson was taken to a nearby hospital by an ambulance that arrived about five minutes after he was tasered. He suffered a heart arrest and passed away around four and a half hours later, according to authorities.
The LAPD’s toxicology testing revealed that Anderson’s blood had positive results for cocaine and cannabis. A separate investigation will be made by the coroner’s office in Los Angeles County.
Activists for police reform have re-initiated their calls in response to Anderson’s passing; some of them hold the opinion that armed officers shouldn’t be sent to traffic accidents.
Anderson’s cousin and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors, told the Guardian: “My cousin was asking for aid, and he didn’t receive it.