Cousin Of Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Dies After Being Tased By Police

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the death of Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old English teacher and father. Anderson is also the cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, according to a tribute she posted on Instagram.

“They’re trying to George Floyd me,” he can be heard saying in police body camera footage released Wednesday, referring to the murder of Floyd in May 2020 at the hands of Minneapolis police. The 2020 incident prompted an international racial reckoning.

In the video, which was shot on January 3, officers tell Anderson to “stop resisting” as he lies on the ground with officers holding him down. The officer then announces that he is going to use a Taser on Anderson. 

“They’re trying to kill me. They’re trying to kill me,” Anderson says, pleading with officers and asking them to “help me.” He was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Santa Monica, where he died after suffering cardiac arrest, according to a police news release.

Anderson’s death is the latest in a string of separate encounters in which men died after interacting with Los Angeles police officers, according to the Washington Post. Among them are Takar Smith, 45, and Oscar Sanchez, 35, who were both fatally shot by police in the first few days of January. The community is now demanding justice.

Cullors told The Washington Post that she’s joining community activists and residents in calling for Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore’s resignation and holding the officers accountable.

Cullors mentioned how painful it was to hear her cousin say Floyd’s name before his passing. “He yelled out, ‘They’re trying to George Floyd me!’ and they did just that,” she said. “And that’s really hard to digest.”

According to Cullors, Anderson taught 10th-grade English at the Digital Pioneers Academy, a majority-Black charter school in Washington, D.C. and was visiting family and friends in Los Angeles.

Anderson’s death is still under investigation by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, and its cause and manner have not yet been determined. 

At a news conference on Wednesday, Moore expressed his “deep concern” regarding the recent wave of fatal police shootings to begin the new year. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass echoed the sentiments and demanded that all of the officers involved in the three separate incidents be “placed on immediate leave.”

“Full investigations are underway, and I pledge that the City’s investigations into these deaths will be transparent and will reflect the values of Los Angeles,” Bass said in a statement. “I will ensure that the city’s investigations will drive only toward truth and accountability.”

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