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Cousin Of Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Dies After Being Tased By Los Angeles Police

12:23 PM PST on January 9, 2023

    Keenan Anderson with his son.

    Keenan Anderson with his son.

    Snippet: In an Instagram post, Patrisse Cullors, author and co-founder of Black Lives Matter revealed to her 350,000+ followers that her cousin, Keenan Anderson, was “killed by LAPD” on January 3. “Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father,” Cullors wrote.

    What We Know: Anderson is the father of a young boy and an educator who taught English. He died after going into cardiac arrest on January 3 but LAPD didn’t release a public statement acknowledging the death until three days later. According to the LAPD, on the afternoon of January 3, a traffic cop was flagged down “for a traffic collision” in the Venice area. Later they encountered Anderson “running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behavior.” In a news release, the LAPD says officers used a “taser, bodyweight, firm grips and joint locks,” on Anderson shortly before he died, after he fled the scene. The “struggle” lasted “several minutes,” according to authorities. Afterwards Anderson’s ankles were “hobbled” together. He died later in a Santa Monica hospital after going into cardiac arrest. LAPD’s full statement can be found here.

    A spokesperson from the department told L.A. TACO that they’ll release body-worn footage this week, which is surprising considering they typically wait weeks to release relevant video footage.

    A GoFundMe has been set up in Anderson's memory to cover his son's "current education and future college tuition.”

    Big Picture: Three people have been killed by LAPD in 2023. At least two of the killings involved people that were suffering from a mental health crisis, according to family members.

    A day before Anderson died, Shameka Smith sought help from the LAPD after her husband, Takar Smith, began throwing things and acting erratically at their Westlake apartment. The father of six had reportedly been on medication for years to treat schizophrenia. “Please don’t kill my husband,” Smith recalled telling officers in an interview with The Times a day after the LAPD killed her husband.

    And on the same day Anderson died, Oscar Leon was shot to death by police in the area of 28th St. and Central Avenue in South LA. “LAPD forgot to mention that Oscar had a mental health condition that his brother informed them of before they shot him,” Leon’s cousin, Adriana Cabrera wrote on Twitter.

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