The family of Keenan Anderson, the 31-year-old cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, has filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, alleging that he died because police repeatedly attacked him after a traffic accident. .
Friday’s legal action, which is the precursor to a lawsuit, came after the LAPD released body camera footage of police wrestling with Anderson as he tried to arrest him, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney who has represented many of the country’s high-profile victims of police brutality, and Carl Douglas, who was part of OJ Simpson’s defense team in his murder trial, told a news conference on Friday that they had filed the claim for the name of Anderson’s 5-year-old son. Cullors and other family members stood with the two lawyers.
“This is the story of a 5-year-old who will never be able to enjoy another day in his father’s presence,” Douglas said, standing next to the boy.
He said Anderson had complied with a motorcycle officer’s order to sit on the sidewalk until several officers ran up to him. Douglas said that Anderson feared for his safety and ran out into the street.
“We saw a man who was scared,” Douglas said. “We saw a man who was unarmed and docile.”
The incident occurred on the afternoon of January 3 in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to law enforcement officials who released a 19-minute video of the encounter on Wednesday.
Witnesses initially told officials that a man, later identified as Anderson, had caused a traffic collision at a busy intersection and was “running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behavior,” according to LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz. .
After officers arrived, Anderson obeyed orders and sat on the sidewalk while he was questioned, the video showed.
The young black man then expressed concern that other police officers would try to plant evidence in the BMW he was driving and he drove down the street.
Several officers tried to subdue Anderson, who fought back against them. A police officer used a Taser on him at least six times in 42 seconds, according to details released by the LAPD.
Anderson died a few hours later at the hospital. No word yet on his cause of death and whether the Taser discharges contributed to his death, the LA Times said.
Police also said preliminary tests found cocaine and cannabis in Anderson’s system, but did not provide any information about when he may have ingested the drugs.