Cousin of BLM co-founder dies in hospital; video shows police repeatedly use Taser on him

Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Live Matters, said she does not believe that police should be the first to respond to minor traffic incidents.

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Los Angeles police have released body camera footage of the arrest of a cousin of a Black Lives Matter co-founder showing that police repeatedly used a Taser on him. A few hours later he died at a local hospital.

According to NBC News, police said 31-year-old Keenan Darnell Anderson, a Black man, tried to leave the scene after he was involved in a vehicle accident on Jan. 3.

Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Live Matters, claimed that her cousin flagged down police and requested assistance.

Black Lives Matter co-founder cousin death
Keenan Darnell Anderson (center) died following a medical emergency after a Los Angeles police officer repeatedly stunned him with a Taser during an incident that stemmed from a traffic accident. (Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/New York Post)

“Our family can never know what truly happened that day, because we weren’t there,” Cullors said, according to NBC. “What we do know is that Keenan was in a supposed accident and he asked for help, and in that process, he died. How did this result in his death?”

Police spokesperson Kelly Muñiz said the incident began after someone flagged down an officer about a traffic accident, which witnesses indicated Anderson caused.

Body camera footage shows Anderson in the middle of the roadway, pleading for assistance before hurrying off. He tells officers that someone is trying to kill him. Anderson explains to the policeman that he misplaced his key and had his vehicle fixed, once again claiming someone is trying to kill him.

“Please, sir, don’t do this,” Anderson says in the video, according to NBC. “Please, help me, please … They’re trying to kill me. Please, please, please, please, please, please.”

Anderson tried to leave the scene by sprinting into the street as supporting officers arrived. The officers chased him and instructed him to get on the ground. “As the officers attempted to take Anderson into custody, he became increasingly agitated, uncooperative and resisted the officers,” Muñiz explained, NBC reported.

The body camera footage shows Anderson lying on his back in the center of the road. Several officers order him to flip over on his stomach. When he refuses, they grab him.

Police warned Anderson they would use a Taser on him if he continued to resist. The video shows an officer who appears to be Black pinning Anderson to the ground by putting his elbow on his neck. In response, Anderson references George Floyd, the Black man that Minneapolis police killed in May 2020.

Anderson was stunned with a Taser repeatedly before he was restrained and transported to a hospital. About four and a half hours later, he died following a medical emergency .

Cullors said the body camera footage was disturbing and questioned police justification for the use of force. She added that she did not believe police should be first to respond to minor traffic concerns. 

“If there’s an accident, then it should be ambulance and firefighters. There should be professionals who are trained in crisis management,” she said. “If my cousin did not have to interact with LAPD that day, he would be alive.”

Police Chief Michel Moore said during a news conference on Wednesday that Anderson had engaged in a felony hit-and-run and attempted to enter someone else’s vehicle without permission.

Muñiz said an LAPD toxicology report showed that Anderson tested positive for cannabis and a cocaine metabolite. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office will conduct an independent toxicology test. Currently, Anderson’s cause of death is unknown.

Despite the results of the toxicology report, Cullors said the family’s primary concern is sorting through the circumstances around Anderson’s death.

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