LAPD Officers Found to Be Out of Policy in Keenan Anderson Death

D.T. Carson

      Following ten months of public outcry and calls for justice, the Los Angeles Police Commission issued a rare out-of-policy ruling finding that five police officers involved in the repeated tasing of Keenan Anderson had violated police policy.

      Keenan Darnell Anderson begged for his life as he was repeatedly tased by LAPD officers after a confrontation sparked by a traffic accident he caused as they attempted to take him into custody.

      LAPD officers reportedly tased the 31-year-old schoolteacher from Washington D.C. six times for an alarming 42 seconds as he cried out, “they’re trying to George Floyd me” in the January 3, 2023 incident.

Anderson, a cousin of Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors, died of cardiac arrest hours after being transported to the hospital due to a medical emergency. 

      The case called into question the L.A. Police Department’s policy on tasers, which states that officers “may use the taser as a reasonable force option to control a suspect when the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or others.”

      Two officers were found to have violated the department’s lethal force policy, and one officer’s Taser usage did not meet LAPD standards. All five officers were cited for failing to adequately care for Anderson by placing him in a recovery position when he was in medical distress. 

      “What’s clear is Keenan Anderson was never anything more than a passive resistor. What’s clear is that a less than lethal weaponry like a Taser, when used in the wrong hands, is indeed lethal,” stated Attorney Carl Douglas, who has filed legal action on behalf of Anderson’s family. 

      A statement from Black Lives Matter declared the ruling a victory.

      “Keenan was a beloved 31-year-old Black father, brother, fiancé, schoolteacher, and community member, who was tased to death in the middle of a busy intersection by LAPD after a minor traffic collision”, the statement read.

      “Initially, LAPD and Chief Michel Moore engaged in a brutal round of character assassination, attempting to blame Keenan for his own death.

      “It is important to pause and acknowledge this step forward and the work that went into making this happen. We will continue to demand justice in the name of Keenan Anderson.”

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