The co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors, is accusing the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) of killing her cousin. According to Vibe, Cullors took to Instagram on Sunday to call out the department for allegedly taking the life of 31-year-old Keenan Anderson.
“This is my cousin Keenan Anderson. He was killed by LAPD in Venice on Jan. 3, 2023. My cousin was an educator and worked with high school-aged children. He was an English teacher,” Cullors shared.“LAPD has killed three people this year. One of them is my family member.”
Cullors shared two photos of Anderson. One shows the deceased Black man carrying a little boy. “Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father,” she added. “Keenan we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence. I love you.”
In a statement, the LAPD said the fatal encounter happened around Venice Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard in Pacific Area. Police said an officer who had gone there to respond to a traffic collision saw the deceased teacher “running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behavior.”
Police also claimed multiple citizens who were involved in the collision pointed out Anderson for causing the accident. “The officer contacted Anderson, verbalized with him, and requested additional units for a DUI investigation,” LAPD said, adding that Anderson initially complied with “the officer’s commands and sat at the northeast corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevard for several minutes as the officer spoke with him.”
The department also claimed that Anderson later attempted to flee the scene as additional units arrived. “Officers gave chase as Anderson ran eastbound in the middle of the street on Venice Boulevard,” LAPD said.
After catching up with Anderson, police said the deceased Black man started to resist, “resulting in a use of force” and the subsequent deployment of a TASER. Police said Anderson was later handcuffed and hobbled at the ankles.
“Shortly after Anderson was taken into custody, Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) personnel responded to the scene and rendered medical aid for deployment of the TASER,” LAPD said. “Anderson was transported via a rescue ambulance (RA) to a local hospital in the City of Santa Monica. While at the hospital, Anderson went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced deceased.”
Responding to the statement by the LAPD, BLM Los Angeles, said “a minor traffic incident shouldn’t lead to death.” The organization also referred to Anderson as a “father of a 6-year-old boy” who was “a committed high school English teacher.”
“He’s a son, a brother, beloved partner, nephew, and cousin of #BlackLivesMatter cofounder Patrisse Cullors,” the organization continued. “LAPD stole him from them and from us by tasing him to death. As we uplift his Spirit, we demand justice in his name.”
The LAPD said the fatal incident is currently under investigation.