Family of BLM leader Patrisse Cullors’ cousin files $50m damages claim against LAPD after he died

Family of BLM leader Patrisse Cullors’ cousin files $50m damages claim against LAPD after he died while being tasered by cops following crash: LAPD union claims he was uncooperative and high on coke

  • Lawyers for five-year-old son of a man who died after being shocked multiple times by LAPD with a stun gun have submitted a $50 million claim for damages 
  • Keenan Anderson, 31, was tasered six times in less than a minute on January 3
  • Anderson was the cousin of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors who has famously advocated for the defunding of American police forces

Lawyers acting on behalf of the family of the five-year-old son of a man who died after repeatedly being shocked by Los Angeles police with a stun gun have filed a $50 million claim for damages against the city.

The legal claim is required before Keenan Anderson’s son and estate can sue the LAPD police for wrongful death and civil rights violations for restraining him and shocking him six times with a Taser in less than a minute on January 3, following a traffic collision.

‘If you Taser someone with 50,000 watts of electrical energy six times … is there really any wonder that moments later his heart will begin to flutter?’ attorney Carl Douglas asked at a news conference.

‘Is there any wonder why four hours later his heart could no longer withstand the pressure from that Taser and gave up, leaving a five-year-old boy in his wake?’

Lawyers for the  five-year-old son of Keenan Anderson, 31, who died after being shocked multiple times by the LAPD with a stun gun have submitted a $50 million claim for damages

Lawyers for the  five-year-old son of Keenan Anderson, 31, who died after being shocked multiple times by the LAPD with a stun gun have submitted a $50 million claim for damages

Lawyer Carl Douglas, right, held a news conference with Gabrielle Hansel, guardian of five-year-old Syncere Kai Anderson, to announce the filing of a $50 million damages claim

Lawyer Carl Douglas, right, held a news conference with Gabrielle Hansel, guardian of five-year-old Syncere Kai Anderson, to announce the filing of a $50 million damages claim

Syncere Kai Anderson, 5, is held by his mom, Gabrielle Hansell, at a press conference

Syncere Kai Anderson, 5, is held by his mom, Gabrielle Hansell, at a press conference

The claim was filed on behalf of Anderson’s son, Syncere Kai Anderson, who stood with his mother, Gabrielle Hansell, the administrator of his estate, alongside their attorneys.

Anderson, 31, a high school English teacher in Washington, D.C., and cousin of Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, was the suspect in a hit-and-run traffic collision when he was stopped by police in Venice. 

He later ran from officers and resisted arrest, police said.

Anderson screamed for help after he was pinned to the street by officers and repeatedly shocked, according to video released by the department.

‘They’re trying to kill me,’ Anderson could be heard yelling.

Footage showed an officer pressing his forearm on Anderson’s chest and an elbow in his neck.

‘They’re trying to George Floyd me,’ Anderson said in reference to the black man killed by officers in Minnesota in May 2020.

After being subdued, Anderson went into cardiac arrest and died at a hospital about four hours later. 

Officers repeatedly issued instructions to Anderson that he declined to follow. He was warned he would be tased if he did not physically comply with their instructions to turn over

Officers repeatedly issued instructions to Anderson that he declined to follow. He was warned he would be tased if he did not physically comply with their instructions to turn over

Anderson could be heard crying out on police bodycam, 'Please, help me please'

Anderson could be heard crying out on police bodycam, ‘Please, help me please’ 

‘We can only wonder what Keenan Anderson meant,’ attorney Ben Crump said. ‘But if he meant that he would end up dead at the end of the encounter at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department then Keenan Anderson was correct. They George Floyd him.’

Chief Michel Moore said Anderson initially complied with officers as they investigated whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but he was subdued after struggling with officers who had chased him when he bolted.

‘In my preliminary review of this incident, it’s unclear what the role of that Taser was,’ Moore said. 

‘To be clear, it’s dependent on the totality of our investigative resources, but also on medical records from the hospital as well as a coroner’s report and their formal and forensic level examination. As this investigation continues, however, I will pay close attention to the use of the Taser.’ 

Anderson ran in fear – as other black men have – when additional officers responding to a call for backup rushed toward him, Douglas said.

The claim said officers used unreasonable deadly force, carelessly and mistakenly deployed the Taser, failed to follow training on the dangers of asphyxiation while handcuffing Anderson and conspired with each other to hide and distort information in false police reports.

‘Three trained killers, because that’s what trained officers are, were unable to handcuff an unarmed man without having to Taser him six separate times on the back side of his heart,’ Douglas said. 

Melina Abdullah, left, hugs Patrisse Cullors, right, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, at the news conference

Melina Abdullah, left, hugs Patrisse Cullors, right, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, at the news conference

Patrisse Cullors, far left, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, listens as Gabrielle Hansell, mother of five-year-old Syncere Kai Anderson, far right, announced a lawsuit

Patrisse Cullors, far left, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, listens as Gabrielle Hansell, mother of five-year-old Syncere Kai Anderson, far right, announced a lawsuit

'Having to hear Keenan cry out for help the way he did and watch him be hurt by the very people who were supposed to protect him is something I will never get over,' Hansel said

‘Having to hear Keenan cry out for help the way he did and watch him be hurt by the very people who were supposed to protect him is something I will never get over,’ Hansel said

Lawyers Benjamin Crump, left, and Carl Douglas, right, held a news conference on Friday

Lawyers Benjamin Crump, left, and Carl Douglas, right, held a news conference on Friday

An LAPD toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in Anderson’s body, the chief said. The coroner’s office will also perform a toxicology report.

The officers haven’t been named yet but their union issued a statement saying the family and attorneys were ‘trying to shamelessly profit’ from a ‘tragic incident.’

An LAPD spokesperson declined to comment citing a policy not to discuss pending litigation.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, issued a statement again laying the blame with Anderson saying he escalated the confrontation while high on drugs. 

‘Minor auto accidents are usually handled with an exchange of information between the drivers and a call to one’s insurance carrier,’ according to the LAPPL. 

‘On the other hand, when an individual who is high on cocaine is in an accident, tries to open the car door of an innocent driver, and then flees the scene by running into traffic, police officers must act. We demand that the chief of police release the missing seven minutes of body-worn camera video that will capture the entire episode with Mr. Anderson. 

‘We believe the missing video will confirm that Mr. Anderson was the one who escalated this tragic incident that his family and Mr. Crump are now trying to shamelessly profit from.’ 

In a post on Instagram BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors revealed that Anderson was her cousin

In a post on Instagram BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors revealed that Anderson was her cousin

In the aftermath of his death, BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors took to instagram to mourn the passing of her cousin and blamed the LAPD for his death

In the aftermath of his death, BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors took to instagram to mourn the passing of her cousin and blamed the LAPD for his death

‘As I watched the video, what was clear to me is that my cousin, Keenan, was actually really scared and he was asking for help repeatedly and unfortunately that’s not what he received from LAPD,’ Cullors told the Los Angeles Times.

‘At that point the question becomes why wasn’t there [help]?

‘Why wasn’t my cousin offered medical attention?’ she asked. ‘Why wasn’t there an ambulance or fire department called if he kept repeating that he needed help, that he needed support?’

Cullors told the news outlet that before watching the body camera footage she said that she and her family were trying to figure out what actually took place.

‘What we do know is that Keenan was alive before his experience with the police and then he was dead. But we don’t want to continue with the narrative of what the police were saying because we don’t know if that’s true,’ she said.

‘Keenan, you deserve compassion,’ Cullors said. ‘Keenan, you deserve to be in your classroom, supporting your students. Keenan, you deserve to have your wedding day. Keenan, you deserve to be raising your son.’ 

Pictures of 31-year-old teacher, Keenan Anderson, who was tasered multiple times during a struggle with LAPD officers in Venice and died at a hospital, are displayed

Pictures of 31-year-old teacher, Keenan Anderson, who was tasered multiple times during a struggle with LAPD officers in Venice and died at a hospital, are displayed

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