English teacher and cousin of BLM co-founder dies after being Tased by LAPD

Newly released body camera video shows a Black man getting Tased repeatedly by Los Angeles police – and dying four hours later -- which is raising questions about why police were using this type of force following a car crash. 

"They're trying to George Floyd me," Keenan Anderson, 31, a high school English teacher and father, is heard saying on body camera video taken on Jan. 3. He's lying on the ground in Venice and he was Tasered six times. "Please don't do this to me sir. Please!" 

Police respond: "I'm going to Tase you." 

Anderson was Tased six times. The video was released on Tuesday. 

Police said they were trying to catch up with Anderson after he got in a traffic accident, which they say he caused. Anderson was the cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. 

According to LAPD officials, an officer was flagged down for a car crash that happened near Venice and Lincoln boulevards just before 3:40 p.m that day. The officer said when he arrived at the scene, Anderson was acting erratically and that he observed him running in the middle of the street.

Witnesses also told the LAPD Anderson caused the crash.

The officer spoke with Anderson and called in additional units for a DUI investigation.

LAPD officials said as more units arrived, Anderson ran away from the scene, leading to a foot chase on the eastbound lanes of Venice Boulevard. A short time later, officers contacted Anderson who they say began to resist, which led to a use of force.

"Officers struggled with Anderson for several minutes, utilizing a Taser, bodyweight, firm grips, and joint locks to overcome resistance," the LAPD said in a written press release.

Anderson was handcuffed at the scene and "hobbled at the ankles." 

After being taken into custody, firefighters with the Los Angeles Fire Department were called to the scene and rendered medical aid. He was taken to a Santa Monica hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and died four hours later, authorities said.

An LAPD officer received minor abrasions to his hands.

Loved ones remember Anderson as an English teacher and a father to a 6-year-old.

Cullors and other advocates have questioned why it was necessary for armed police to show up to a collision.

She paid tribute to her cousin.

"Keenan deserves to be alive right now," she said. "His child deserves to be raised by his father. Keenan we will fight for you and all of our loved ones impacted by state violence."

Black Lives Matter LA said so far in 2023, the LAPD has killed three people, including at least two Black men, including Anderson and Takar Smith.

In response to the deaths, BLM Los Angeles called for the resignation of LAPD Chief Michael Moore.

Moore said at a news conference that Anderson’s behavior was "erratic" and he suffered a "medical emergency." 

He said that a preliminary blood test revealed cannabis and cocaine in Anderson’s system. A formal cause of death, however, has not been determined, and advocates have criticized the department for releasing that information and suggesting drug use was related to his death.

Moore said at this point it's not clear the Taser was the deadly culprit but he would certainly look into that. 

In a statement, LA Mayor Karen Bass said she had "grave concerns about the deeply disturbing tapes that were released."

She pledged that the city's investigations into what happened would be transparent and find out the truth. She said that the officers involved must be place on immediate leave.

"We must reduce the use of force overall, and I have absolutely no tolerance for excessive force, Bass said. "Especially as a former health care professional, I am deeply troubled that mental health experts were not called in, even when there was a documented history of past mental health crisis."

KTVU's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.