Keenan Anderson: $50 million claim filed against city of LA over man's death in LAPD Taser incident
LOS ANGELES - Attorneys Carl Douglas and Benjamin Crump have filed a $50 million damages claim against the city of Los Angeles over the death of Keenan Anderson.
The claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.
Anderson, a 31-year-old high school English teacher working in Washington, D.C., died in LAPD custody after he was involved in a traffic accident in Venice on Jan. 3.
In an edited release of LAPD body camera footage, Anderson is seen running from officers through traffic, acting "agitated" as police said, ultimately taken to the ground over a period of minutes, shocked with a Taser six or seven times.
Anderson was eventually cuffed, an ambulance was called, and he died at the hospital some four hours later. His autopsy and cause of death are on "security hold" at the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. The LAPD has only said he experienced a still unexplained medical emergency, but critics said in essence, the LAPD killed him rather than helped him.
"If you Tase someone with 50,000 watts of electrical energy six times in the heart, is there really any wonder that moments later his heart would begin to flutter?" Douglas said. "Is there really any wonder that moments later his heart would begin to beat erratically? And is there any wonder why four hours later his heart could no longer withstand the pressure from that Taser and gave out?"
Douglas announced the damages claim at a news conference along with noted civil-rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented the family of George Floyd in Minnesota.
There was no immediate comment from city officials on the claim. LAPD Chief Michel Moore addressed Anderson's death last week at a news conference, saying a full investigation was being conducted. He said he was particularly interested in the repeated use of the Taser.
- Community demands justice for man who died after LAPD shocked him with Taser 6 times
- Keenan Anderson: Venice vigil held for man who died in LAPD custody after being tased
- School mourns death of teacher who died over winter break after being tased by LAPD
- Body camera video shows LAPD detaining, using Taser on man involved in Venice crash
The Los Angeles Police Protective League issued the following statement regarding the $50 million claim, "Minor auto accidents are usually handled with an exchange of information between the drivers and a call to one’s insurance carrier. On the other hand, when an individual who is high on cocaine is in an accident, tries to open the car door of an innocent driver, and then flees the scene by running into traffic, police officers must act. We demand that the Chief of Police release the missing 7-minutes of body-worn camera video (6:05 mark of Critical Incident Video) that will capture the entire episode with Mr. Anderson. We believe the missing video will confirm that Mr. Anderson was the one who escalated this tragic incident that his family and Mr. Crump are now trying to shamelessly profit from."
The Los Angeles Police Protective League says they stand behind their officers.
In addition to Anderson's death, two other suspects have died after interactions with police during the first week of the month. Their deaths have prompted calls from city leaders and protesters to bring in mental health clinicians to the scene.
Two GoFundMe accounts have been created for Anderson; one to support his son Syncere, and a second to cover funeral expenses