Police Commission cites violation of policy
The union representing Los Angeles Police Department officers has criticized a city commission ruling that found some actions of five officers involved in the death of a man who was subjected to repeated electric shocks during a confrontation in Venice early this year violated department policy.
“We strongly disagree with these politically influenced findings, each responding officer acted responsibly in dealing with Mr. (Keenan) Anderson who was high on cocaine and ran into traffic after fleeing a car accident he caused,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black lives Matter (BLM) and Black Lives Matter Grassroots, spoke with Dominique DiPrima on First Things first KBLA 1580 on Oct. 25 and called the Police Commission’s determinations about the officers a “victory.”
According to BLM, while the ruling is important, the group will continue to rally for justice in Anderson’s name. Abdullah added that BLM will continue to demand that LAPD officers be removed from traffic stops, and call on the city of Los Angeles to invest in mental health and housing resources.
Keenan Anderson, a Washington, D.C. teacher, was tasered multiple times by officers. Anderson later died from the effects of an enlarged heart and cocaine use, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner.
“What’s clear is Keenan Anderson was never anything more than a passive resister. What’s clear is that a less than lethal weaponry like a Taser, when used in the wrong hands, is indeed lethal,’’ said Carl Douglas, an attorney for Anderson’s family.
“So I turn to you, commissioners, because by your actions in that room, you will have the chance to make a statement. A statement that all of the people of Los Angeles will be listening to,’’ Douglas added. “A statement that says we will hold our officers responsible when they do wrong.’’
Chris Anderson, Keenan’s younger brother, gave short remarks to the commission. Chris recognized that Keenan “wasn’t perfect to some.’’
“But in my eyes, he was trying his best,’’ Chris Anderson said. “Our upbringing wasn’t traditional, but that didn’t stop him from being my older brother. He was my number one supporter, my number one inspiration and my competition.’’
“As my family mourns his loss, I just hope that we get justice,’’ he added.
Anderson, a cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, was in the Los Angeles area visiting relatives during the Christmas season when he was involved in a traffic collision at Lincoln and Venice boulevards and allegedly tried to run away.
Anderson was allegedly observed “making erratic statements and appeared agitated.’’
According to the police reports, Anderson fled on foot and was restrained by multiple officers who used wrist locks and hobbling techniques, and a CED (Taser).
“External analysis of the discharged CED revealed probes were deployed without skin impact and that trigger activations were discharged to Mr. Anderson’s back,’’ the report said.
In January, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said a full investigation would be conducted with a special focus on the repeated use of the Taser. Moore previously said “in my preliminary review of this incident, it’s unclear what the role of that Taser was.’’