A cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors died earlier this month after police officers arrested him in Los Angeles.
Keenan Anderson, 31, a D.C.-area charter school teacher, died at a hospital in Santa Monica on Jan. 3 following a struggle with police.
An officer was flagged down for a traffic collision in the area of Venice Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard in Pacific Area just after 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 3.
LAPD said the officer observed a male – later identified as Anderson – running in the middle of the street and behaving erratically. Several people involved in the traffic collision told the officer that Anderson was responsible for the accident, LAPD said.
The officer spoke with Anderson who was initially compliant but tried to flee the scene and ran into the middle of the street when additional units arrived, LAPD said. Anderson began to resist arrest, resulting in the use of force, according to the department.
A struggled ensued for several minutes and officers used a TASER, bodyweight, firm grips, and joint locks, LAPD said.
In bodycam footage released by the department, Anderson can be heard yelling, “They’re trying to kill me.”
“They’re trying to George Floyd me,” Anderson said as an officer threatened to use a stun gun, which was repeatedly deployed seconds later as Anderson was face down on the pavement and begged for help, saying, “I’m not resisting.”
The officers eventually restrained Anderson.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) arrived on the scene and administered medical aid for the officer’s use of the TASER. Anderson was transported to a local hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and died.
Cullors paid tribute to her cousin in an Instagram post, saying he was an English teacher who worked with high school aged children.
“LAPD has killed three people this year. One of them is my family member,” Cullors wrote. “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.”
Chief Michel Moore said Wednesday that he was “deeply concerned” by the deaths Keenan and two other men – Takar Smith and Oscar Sanchez – who were fatally shot by police since the start of the new year.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is still investigating Anderson’s case. The office has not yet ruled on the cause and manner of their deaths. Both died on Jan. 3.
Black Lives Matter supporters protested the officers’ actions in Anderson’s death outside the LAPD headquarters on Wednesday as Moore held his news conference inside.
“It’s unclear what role” the officers played in Anderson’s death, Moore said. The officers were not named in the department’s news release.
An LAPD toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in Anderson’s body, although those results are separate from the coroner’s independent report, the chief said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.