A 31-year-old black American, cousin of one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, died a few hours after receiving a series of electric shocks from a Taser gun during his arrest, announced the authorities of Los Angeles.
The January 3 incident has sparked growing backlash and controversy this week, with police releasing video of Keenan Anderson’s arrest on Wednesday from the officers’ handheld cameras.
We see this teacher visibly feverish and agitated after being involved in a banal traffic accident in the Venice district of Los Angeles. Officers use force to subdue him, pinning him to the ground where they taser him to stop him struggling.
“Police wrestled with Anderson for several minutes, using a Taser, body weight, firm grips and armbars to overcome his resistance,” Los Angeles police said in a statement.
Video shows Keenan Anderson yelling “help”, “they’re trying to kill me” or “they’re trying to do me the same as George Floyd”, as an officer presses his elbow to his chest and neck .
On May 25, 2020, African-American George Floyd died of asphyxiation by a Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee on his neck for nearly ten minutes. This police blunder had triggered a protest movement in the United States and in other countries of the world, with the central slogan “Black Lives Matter” (“Black lives matter”).
Taken to hospital after his arrest, Keenan Anderson died of cardiac arrest.
“He was killed by the police,” accused Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matters movement, on Instagram. Keenan Anderson, who lived in Washington and was visiting Los Angeles, was his cousin.
“Keenan deserved to live, his child deserved to be raised by their father. Keenan, we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones who are victims of state violence.”
The death of Keenan Anderson brings to three the number of deaths involving police officers in the city of Los Angeles since the beginning of 2023, according to American media.
The African-American mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, called for the immediate suspension of these police officers pending the results of the investigations.
“Regardless of the outcome of these investigations, the need for urgent change is clear. We need to reduce the use of force, first and foremost, and I have absolutely zero tolerance for excessive (use) of force,” Ms Bass said on Wednesday.
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