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Family of Keenan Anderson sues city of Los Angeles for $50m over tasing death

The 31-year-old died at a hospital after a struggle with LAPD officers in the Venice area of the city

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 23 January 2023 20:55 GMT
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Keenan Anderson: $50 million lawsuit filed against LA City over man’s death in LAPD Taser incident

The family of Keenan Anderson have sued the city of Los Angeles for $50m over the death of the Black teacher who died after being tasered multiple times by police officers.

Anderson, 31, died at a hospital after a struggle with LAPD officers in the Venice area of the city in which the weapon was used on him six times in 42 seconds, according to attorneys.

LAPD officials said a taser was used after Anderson was arrested for felony hit-and-run for causing a traffic accident and trying to get into another motorist’s car.

“I mean six times, in 42 seconds, this is dangerous, potentially fatal,” said civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

The lawsuit is seeking $35m in damages for Anderson’s five-year-old son and $15m for Anderson’s estate, saying the city “failed to properly train the involved officers” who ultimately used “unreasonable deadly force.”

The family has also called for the firing of LAPD chief Michael Moore, who is seeking a second term in charge of the department, and the release of unedited footage of Anderson’s death.

“If you continue to blame the victim and not hold officers accountable, why would they ever stop killing us?” said Dominique Anderson, Keenan’s younger sister.

“The police are supposed to be here to protect and serve the people, and yet they abuse their authority and have a lack of respect for human life.”

The official cause of death has not yet been released by the county coroner. LAPD says that their own tests showed Anderson tested positive for cocaine and cannabis.

Anderson, who taught at the Digital Pioneers Academy charter school in Washington DC, had been visiting relatives in the Los Angeles area when the incident took place.

His death was the third to take place in 2023 following confrontations with LAPD officers. Takar Smith was fatally shot by officers on 2 January, and Oscar Leon Sanchez on 3 January.

“He also deserves to be hugging his son, but instead his son is left fatherless because of a chance encounter with LAPD taking Keenan’s life,” Ms Anderson said.

“And our family is left to pick up those pieces. Keenan was not a threat to any of those officers on that day.”

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