Cousin of BLM co-founder dies in LAPD custody after allegedly resisting arrest

A toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in his system.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
On January 3, a cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors died after getting tased by police during an arrest for allegedly committing a felony hit & run and attempted auto theft. A toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in his system.

In a Critical Incident Community Briefing released to Youtube on Wednesday, LAPD Commanding Officer of Media Relations Captain Kelly Muniz said that an officer was flagged down for a traffic collision near Venice Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard in Pacific Area at 3:38 pm on Jan. 3.

Officers observed 31-year-old Keenan Anderson running in the middle of the street and behaving erratically. People involved in the collision told responding officers that Anderson was responsible for the accident. 

"That guy right there, he caused that accident. He was trying to steal my car," one man is heard saying in footage taken by a witness. "Yeah, the police are doing the right, uh, job right now. Don’t think that the police are abusing him. He was trying to go away.

"I think that guy’s in a very paranoid state," another man added.

"I’m an Uber driver and he was trying to steal my car while he hit the other cars right there," the first man continued.

Bodycam footage from the incident showed Anderson initially obeying the officer's orders, with Anderson saying "somebody's trying to kill me," and "I didn't mean to." He also said that someone was going to try to "put stuff" in his car.

After several minutes, Anderson ran into the street, away from the officer. When the officer chased Anderson down and attempted to arrest him, Anderson allegedly resisted.

During the struggle that lasted for several minutes, officers struggled to handcuff Anderson. After warning that Anderson would be tased if he didn't comply, the officer tased Anderson multiple times. Bodycam footage showed Anderson yelling, "They're trying to kill me," and "They're trying to George Floyd me."

"Help! They think I killed C-Lo, they think I killed C-Lo, help me, please! They’re trying to sedate me, I know too much."

The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived on the scene and administered medical aid to Anderson after the use of the taser and he was transported to a local hospital. After several hours following the use of force, he went into cardiac arrest and died. 

Cullors wrote on Instagram, "LAPD has killed three people this year. One of them is my family member. Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father. Keenan we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence."

She has been embroiled in scandals as one of the leaders of BLM and eventually resigned after it was revealed that she purchased several multi-million dollar homes, as her salary came from various non-profit and for-profit branches of the organization.

Allegations of financial impropriety have plagued the organization.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office is still investigating Anderson’s case but according to Chief Michel Moore, an LAPD toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in Anderson's system. The coroner's independent report is still pending.

Moore said Wednesday he was "deeply concerned" by the deaths of Keenan and the other two other men, Takar Smith and Oscar Sanchez, who were fatally shot by police on Jan 3.

He added, "It's unclear what role" the officers played in Anderson's death.

During Moore’s press conference on Wednesday, Black Lives Matter supporters protested outside the LAPD headquarters.

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