LAPD Officers Tased a Confused, Terrified Man Who Then Died, All Over a Minor Car Collision
A man died earlier this month after being Tased six times in less than a minute by Los Angeles police during a traffic incident. Now activists are demanding answers and changes to how, or even whether, police should respond to these types of calls.
Body camera footage released a week ago from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) shows Keenan Darnell Anderson, 31, in pretty bad mental shape when police showed up at the scene of a car crash at a busy Venice intersection on January 3. According to the LAPD, officers were responding to a call of a hit-and-run, and witnesses said Anderson, driving a BMW, was responsible for the crash. Anderson was a 10th-grade English teacher in Washington, D.C., visiting his family in Los Angeles over the holiday break.
When an officer on a motorcycle first arrives on the scene, body camera footage shows Anderson wandering in the intersection, and the officer orders him over to the curb. Anderson responds erratically saying, “Somebody’s trying to kill me. Somebody’s trying to kill me, sir.” As the officer attempts to get Anderson against a wall, he instead drops to his knees and repeats, “I didn’t mean to, sir.” The officer calls it in as a possible case of driving under the influence and requests additional officers. Anderson again insists that somebody is trying to kill him and that somebody was going to try to “put stuff” in his car.
There is a 7-minute cut in the body camera footage after the officer convinces Anderson to just sit down. Footage resumes with Anderson getting back up and eventually running away. His hands are in the air, and he doesn’t appear armed. He’s clearly afraid of the officer and doesn’t want to be in a place where other people can’t see him. A bystander can be heard nearby saying that she’s watching him in an apparent attempt to reassure him. He accuses the officer of putting a “thing” on him: “You’re making me hot.” As the officer pleads with him to return to the curb, he runs into the intersection.
The officer jumps back on his motorcycle and chases him briefly (sirens on), finding him in the middle of the street just on the other side of the intersection. There, the officer harshly commands him to the ground and orders him on his stomach. He sits on the ground but is slow to comply with the officer’s instructions.
Additional officers arrive and pile on Anderson, forcing him to the ground. He begs and pleads for help, at one point yelling “C Lo is trying to kill me.” They
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