Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old teacher, and father, passed away at a Santa Monica hospital. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has made the incident from Jan. 3's body camera footage public. It reveals Anderson pleading for assistance as police hold him down.
He can be heard yelling, "They're trying to George Floyd me!" at one point, referring to the Minnesota police officer who killed a black man in Minneapolis in May 2020. The cause of death for Anderson - who lived in the Washington DC region and was visiting Los Angeles - has not been officially determined.
The video intensifies pressure on the LAPD, whose interactions with black and brown men have led to three fatalities in less than a week. Officers shot and killed Takar Smith, 45, and Oscar Sanchez, 35, at the beginning of January. Karen Bass, the mayor of Los Angeles, described the events as "deeply disturbing". The three men's deaths were under investigation, according to the police department.
Around 15:30 local time, the officers who tasered Anderson were called to the area in response to a reported traffic collision. At a news conference on Wednesday, police chief Michel Moore stated that Anderson had engaged in a felony hit-and-run following an accident. According to him, Anderson tried to leave the area by trying to "get into another person's car without their permission".
While there is no immediate threat shown on video, the footage shows Anderson in fear when the police arrive, telling the first officer that "somebody is trying to kill me". At first, Anderson follows instructions and sits down, but when additional police officers show there, he gets up and charges into the street, defying orders to stop.
According to authorities, Anderson was taken to a nearby hospital by an ambulance that arrived about five minutes after he was Tasered. He suffered a heart arrest and passed away around four and a half hours later, according to authorities.
The LAPD's toxicology testing revealed that Anderson's blood had positive results for cocaine and cannabis. A separate investigation will be made by the coroner's office in Los Angeles County.
Activists for police reform have re-initiated their calls in response to Anderson's passing; some of them hold the opinion that armed officers shouldn't be sent to traffic accidents.
Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter co-founder and Anderson's cousin said: "My cousin was asking for help, and he didn't receive it." He added, "My cousin was scared for his life. He spent the last 10 years witnessing a movement challenging the killing of black people."