The Los Angeles Police Department is being sued for $100 million over the death of Keenan Anderson, the cousin of one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, in January.
Family lawyers say Keenan Darnell Anderson was held down and Tased for more than 90 seconds, leading to his death on January 3.
Attorneys held a news conference in Ladera Heights Monday morning to announce the lawsuit on behalf of Anderson’s young son.
Anderson, 31, died following an encounter with Los Angeles Police Department officers on January 3. The investigation reveals he was tased six times in 42 seconds, prompting outrage from the community and LA’s Black Lives Matter chapter.
“It’s outrageous and ironic that Keenan Anderson’s last words were ‘they’re trying to George Floyd me. He would still be alive today if it wasn’t for the LAPD tasing him six times.”
said BLM co-founder Melina Abdullah.
The Washington D.C. resident was in town visiting family for the winter holidays when the incident occurred.
Anderson’s manner of death remains undetermined, but the coroner found that he died of an enlarged heart and cocaine use. An autopsy conducted at the behest of the family lawyers reached the same conclusion, attorney Carl Douglas said.
“Had he not been tased,” said Crump, “Keenan Anderson would be here today.”
“What killed him was an overdose of excessive force, it’s that simple,” Crump said, explaining that while Anderson was having a mental health crisis, he was “not a threat to anyone.”
The family is seeking $100 million over Anderson’s death, Crump said in a news conference announcing the lawsuit.
This is the second suit filed since the Jan. 3 death of Anderson. On Jan. 20, the family filed a required damages claim for $50 million, but it was rejected.
The latest suit alleges civil rights violations, assault and battery, false imprisonment and negligence. Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump, along with attorney Carl Douglas, will be representing the family in the case and are asking for damages of $100 million from the city.
Edited footage from body worn cameras provided by the LAPD shows parts of the interaction between Anderson and the responding officers. One officer can be heard warning Anderson to stop resisting and turn over, and threatening to tase him.
Activists and community leaders are demanding justice for Keenan Anderson as well as supporting the family through trying times.
The GoFundMe for Anderson has raised more than $29,000 with over 719 donations. The account, which was created by a user named Miesha, was created to help the family pay for funeral and memorial expenses.