The cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors died after being tased during a confrontation with Los Angeles police.
Keenan Darnell Anderson, 31, died in custody on Jan. 3rd after he reportedly acted erratic, resisted arrest, and was subsequently tased.
According to police spokesperson Capt. Kelly Muñiz, the altercation began around 3:35 pm that afternoon when “an officer was flagged down for a traffic collision.”
“Several community members involved in the traffic collision directed the officer to a man who they indicated had caused the vehicle accident. The man was running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behavior. That suspect was later identified as Keenan Darnell Anderson,” she said in a video statement issued Friday.
Listen, and note that the video also contains bodycam footage from the incident:
The officer told Anderson to sit down as he called for backup. Initially, Anderson complied, but “as the additional officers arrived,” he tried to make a run for it.
“Anderson suddenly attempted to flee the location by running into the middle of the street westbound on Venice Boulevard. The officers gave chase and ordered Anderson to stop. Anderson ultimately stopped and was ordered to get on the ground,” Muñiz explained.
“As the officers attempted to take Anderson into custody, he became increasingly agitated, uncooperative, and resisted the officers. The officers continued to struggle with Anderson for several minutes, utilizing physical force and a taser to help overcome his resistance, eventually taking him into custody,” she added.
Anderson died at a nearby hospital shortly thereafter.
“An ambulance arrived about five minutes after he was tasered, police said, and brought Mr. Anderson to a local hospital. He died about four-and-a-half hours later after going into cardiac arrest, according to police,” the BBC confirmed.
Following his death, outrage began to bloom, with Cullors leading the charge.
“This is my cousin Keenan Anderson. He was killed by LAPD in Venice on January 3rd, 2023. My cousin was an educator and worked with high school-aged children. He was an English teacher. LAPD has killed three people this year. One of them is my family member,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
“Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father. Keenan we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence. I love you. #JusticeForKeenan #BlackLivesMatter,” she added.
View this post on Instagram
Cullors also took her complaints and a rewrite of what happened to NBC News.
For example, she claimed that her cousin had flagged down the police (for help), and not the other way around.
“Not a single time did any of the responding officers listen to him,” she said.
The bodycam footage shows that the officers tried more than once to reason with him, but Anderson just kept babbling mindless nonsense. At one point, he even claimed somebody was trying to kill him.
“Please, sir, don’t do this. Please, help me, please. They’re trying to kill me. Please, please, please, please, please, please,” he said.
Yet for some reason, Cullors apparently didn’t notice any of this erratic behavior when she watched the “shocking” and “disturbing to watch” footage.
Instead she “questioned why officers used force” and “also said she did not think police should be the first to respond to minor traffic incidents,” according to NBC News.
“If there’s an accident, then it should be ambulance and firefighters. There should be professionals who are trained in crisis management. If my cousin did not have to interact with LAPD that day, he would be alive,” she said.
She’s not the only one who thinks this. There are others who have also glommed on to the narrative that he was the victim — not the perpetrator.
Case in point:
Local news here in Los Angeles are claiming that he left the scene of an automobile accident (ran away) and that he resisted arrest. They are saying he had drugs in his system, and trying to portray him as the villain when he is a victim of police brutality #KeenanAnderson
— CeeCee Freedmen (@Ceecee_Freedmen) January 13, 2023
This is heartbreaking. When police are asked for help, you don’t expect them to kill you. I cannot imagine the sorrow that his loved ones are going through.
— joled (@joled16) January 13, 2023
My Lord! I grieve for this young man and for his family. He is my son, nephew, brother, grandson, cousin, neighbor. I grieve, yet again…some more.
— Councilwoman Victoria Parks (@Victoria4Cincy) January 13, 2023
What a horrible, tragic, senseless loss!!!!!! I hope those police are charged with murder!!!!
— J. #EmergencyConfetti Doyle also on POST (@sibersong) January 13, 2023
Yet critics say he would still be alive if he’d still behaved instead of acting psychotic. As to why he was behaving this way, some suspect it may have been due to drugs.
“A report by the police department’s toxicology unit found that Anderson tested positive for cocaine metabolite and cannabinoids,” according to NBC News.
Yet when presented with this fact, Cullors conveniently tried to dismiss it.
“Our family can never know what truly happened that day, because we weren’t there. What we do know is that Keenan was in a supposed accident and he asked for help, and in that process, he died. How did this result in his death?” she said.
At a separate news conference reportedly earlier in the week, local police chief Michel Moore said Anderson hadn’t just caused the traffic accident by committing a felony hit-and-run, but he’d then tried to “get into another person’s car without their permission.”
Perhaps he’d still be alive had he not done that …
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