Attorneys for the family and estate of Keenan Anderson will hold a press conference on June 19 to discuss their filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles.
Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old high school teacher and father, was trying to get help after a traffic collision when he was chased, held down by multiple officers, and tased for over 90 seconds as he begged for help. Paramedics arrived within a minute of being called and, five minutes later, transported Anderson to a local hospital. He died four hours later.
On June 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner released a report determining the cause of death for 31-year-old Keenan Darnell Anderson as effects of cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) and cocaine use while the manner of death was undetermined.
The report changes nothing for Attorney Carl Douglas who will be joined by Attorney Benjamin Crump, BLM-LA co-founder Melina Abdullah and BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who was the cousin of Keenan Anderson in making the announcement.
“The mere fact that the Coroner’s Office has confirmed the presence of cocaine in Keenan Anderson’s system at the time of his death, will have absolutely no impact on our intention to seek justice on behalf of his 5-year-old son,” Douglas said. “Every day, law enforcement officers are trained to confront people who may be going through the worst days of their lives. Whether their normal approach to life has been influenced by either drugs, alcohol, or mental illness, is really of no consequence. A trained officer must still treat people with whom they interact with respect. They may not engage in excessive or unreasonable force.”
Douglas continued, “That is exactly what happened to Keenan Anderson on January 3, 2023. The body camera footage of the officers who were present does not lie. An unarmed Black man, in obvious mental distress, was savagely attacked and repeatedly tased, in clear violation of LAPD policy, by several trained officers, and the innocent life of a little five-year-old boy will be forever changed as a result.”
In January—in what was a precursor to the lawsuit—the family filed a $50 million wrongful death claim against the city, alleging that he died as a result of being tased repeatedly by LAPD officers.
Anderson’s death was one of three fatalities stemming from the LAPD’s use of force in the first few days of the new year.