Keenan Anderson: Family launches huge lawsuit over fatal LAPD encounter

Los Angeles, California - The family of Keenan Anderson, the 31-year-old Black man who died after getting repeatedly tased by Los Angeles police in January, is seeking accountability with a new lawsuit.

A protester takes to the streets demanding accountability in the killing of Keenan Anderson, who died while in LAPD custody on January 3, 2023.
A protester takes to the streets demanding accountability in the killing of Keenan Anderson, who died while in LAPD custody on January 3, 2023.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Family members have filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the killing of Keenan Anderson, who was the cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, targeting the city and members of the LAPD.

Anderson, an English teacher and father to a six-year-old son, was visiting Los Angeles from Washington DC in early 2023 when he had his fatal encounter with police.

Officers were reportedly called to the site of a traffic collision near Venice Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd., where Anderson was "exhibiting erratic behavior," the LAPD's commanding officer of media relations Kelly Muñiz said in body camera footage released after the incident.

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The video shows police ordering Anderson to sit down, which he does. When more officers arrive on the scene, he attempts to get up and flee. Anderson was clearly in fear for his life, repeatedly saying, "They are trying to kill me."

"They’re trying to George Floyd me," Anderson says as police roll him over on the ground and restrain him with their knees.

An LAPD officer is shown repeatedly using his Taser on Anderson. Paramedics arrived and took him to a local hospital where he died four and a half hours later after going into cardiac arrest.

Keenan Anderson's attorneys speak out over new lawsuit

The family of Keenan Anderson is seeking $100 million for his brutal treatment at the hands of LAPD officers.
The family of Keenan Anderson is seeking $100 million for his brutal treatment at the hands of LAPD officers.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

An independent autopsy found Anderson had cocaine in his system at the time of his death, but his family, legal team, and supporters say that is not enough to justify the officers' violent behavior.

"Had he not been tased, Keenan Anderson would be here today," attorney Ben Crump said at a Monday press conference announcing the lawsuit.

"What killed him was an overdose of excessive force, it’s that simple," Crump continued, noting that Anderson was having a mental health crisis but was "not a threat to anyone."

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The lawsuit accuses police of "misinterpret[ing] Mr. Anderson’s efforts to struggle for air and squirming in response to the unlawful application of taser force, as evidence of his active resistance."

Anderson's family is seeking $100 million in damages.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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