On January 3, 31-year-old high school teacher Keenan Anderson died in police custody after being tased multiple times by LAPD officers.
The cousin of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, Keenan Anderson was accused by LAPD officers of attempting to resist arrest in the aftermath of a car crash.
In an official press release, the LAPD stated: “Officers struggled with Anderson for several minutes, utilizing a TASER, bodyweight, firm grips, and joint locks to overcome resistance.”
Netizens claim that Keenan Anderson tried to call the police for help after the crash, but he subsequently tried to flee the scene after becoming distressed by the arrival of multiple officers.
Who was Keenan Anderson?
As per BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, her cousin Keenan Anderson was an English teacher at Digital Pioneers Academy in Washington DC.
Strongly affiliated with the BLM movement, Anderson was reportedly dedicated to his work at the school, where majority of the students are black.
Keenan Anderson—a 31-year-old high school teacher & father—stopped LA police for help after an accident. They instead cuffed him, pinned him, & tased him repeatedly as he begged them to stop.
Keenan died of cardiac arrest from excessive tasing.
His crime—asking police for help. pic.twitter.com/pbacMBjsNB
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) January 12, 2023
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According to The Guardian, Cullors said that Anderson came from a family that had initially migrated to various parts of the country from Lousiana, where they had experienced racism. Subsequently, several members became activists, while Anderson concentrated his efforts on educating African American youth.
Before he began working at Digital Pioneers Academy, Anderson also reportedly taught at schools situated in underprivileged neighborhoods, including an institution in Watts, Los Angeles.
Cullors said that Anderson had almost always aspired to become an educator. She said:
“He was so committed to his students. He was so present for them and was an educator who believed in education. (Even when he was young he wanted) be a better human being, to make a difference and to impact people’s lives.”
Cullors added that while the family had initially viewed Los Angeles as an improvement from the environment in Louisiana, systemic violence seemed to be a harsh reality all over America.
The LAPD murdered Keenan Anderson. A beloved high school English teacher and father who FLAGGED THEM DOWN FOR HELP after a car accident. He was a threat to no one. He needed help and it cost him his life. The LAPD must be held accountable for this at all costs. #KeenanAnderson pic.twitter.com/fPQ6gYsmUO
— Travon (@Travon) January 12, 2023
Cullors said: “I think about the migration of Black people and what we do to try to keep our families safe, and coming to California and Los Angeles as this ‘western haven’.
Given the impact law enforcement has had on so many of my family members and now the killing of my cousin, it’s painful, because he was so committed to family.”
In the aftermath of Anderson’s death, LA Mayor Karen Bass discussed the use of force by the LAPD.Bass said:
“The need for urgent change is clear. We must reduce the use of force overall, and I have absolutely no tolerance for excessive force. We must also lead our city forward – finally – on the mental health crisis that has been allowed to grow, fester and cause so much harm to individual Angelenos, their families and our communities.”
Keenan Anderson video
“They are trying to George Floyd me”
– Keenan Anderson
English Teacher, friend, mentor and so much more tased to death by the LAPD in this encounter:pic.twitter.com/EHgrFUx9dX
— Isaac G. Bryan (@ib2_real) January 12, 2023
Keenan Anderson’s death is currently under investigation. The high school teacher left behind a son, Syncere Anderson.