Vigil To Be Held For Keenan Anderson, Who Died After LAPD Taser Incident

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A candlelight vigil will be held Saturday for Keenan Anderson, cousin of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who died in LAPD custody, Jan 3.

The vigil is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., on the corner of Venice Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd in Los Angeles, where the incident with LAPD occurred.

“Join the family and loved ones of [Keenan Anderson] as we lift his Spirit and generate the energy needed to fight for justice in his name,” community collective People’s City Council wrote in a post announcing the vigil.

The critical incident was addressed by LAPD Chief Michel Moore, saying he would “pay close attention to the use of the taser,” as the investigation continues.

Moore said one of the officers who detained Anderson appeared to use “drive stuns” for 42 seconds before he was taken to a Santa Monica hospital. That is where he was pronounced dead due to cardiac arrest four hours later, still under police custody.

Anderson was initially approached after a traffic accident, with LAPD saying he was showing erratic behavior. Cullors said Anderson was attempting to flag down the police after the accident.

The first officer who made contact with Anderson appeared to do so without altercation, but once Anderson began to walk away, into the street, additional officers gave chase to detain him.

As he was on the ground, Anderson could be heard screaming, “they’re trying to George Floyd me,” as the officers used not only the taser, but bodyweight, firm grips, and joint locks to apply the handcuffs.

An initial toxicology report from  the LAPD toxicology unit showed that Anderson had traces of cocaine and cannabis in his system, although a L.A. County must still conduct an autopsy and toxicology report of its own.

After LAPD released video of Anderson’s critical incident, as well as two other incidents where officers shot and killed two men, Mayor Karen Bass called for all officers involved to be placed on leave.

“Full investigations are underway, and I pledge that the City’s investigations into these deaths will be transparent and will reflect the values of Los Angeles,” Bass said in a statement. “I will ensure that the City’s investigations will drive only toward truth and accountability. No matter what these investigations determine, however, the need for urgent change is clear. We must reduce the use of force overall, and I have absolutely no tolerance for excessive force. We must also lead our city forward – finally – on the mental health crisis that has been allowed to grow, fester and cause so much harm to individual Angelenos, their families and our communities.”

A 10th grade English teacher at Digital Pioneers Academy in Washington D.C., Anderson was in Los Angeles visiting family before the incident occurred.

“Our community is grieving, but we’re also angry… that once again a known, loved and special member of our community is no longer with us,” Digital Pioneers Academy said in a statement. “Our school community will inevitably ask some really important questions in the days and weeks ahead: How could the police have de-escalated this situation? How are we going to stop losing our black boys and men to violence? How do we grieve and move forward as a community?”

A gofundme fundraiser was started for Anderson’s funeral and memorial costs, with more than $13,000 raised, as of this writing.

As of this writing, a cause of death has not been established for Anderson by L.A. County officials.

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