Family sues Los Angeles police for $50 million after crippling teacher’s death

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyers for the 5-year-old son of a man who died after being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun by Los Angeles police after a traffic accident filed a $50 million damages claim against the city on Friday .

Legal action is required before Keenan Anderson’s son and estate can sue the LAPD for wrongful death and civil rights violations for restraining and tasering him six times in less than 10 days. one minute on January 3.

Syncere Kai Anderson, 5, is held by his mother, Gabrielle Hansell, as he listens to attorneys Benjamin Crump and Carl Douglas hold a press conference to announce the filing of $50 million in damages against the City of Los Angeles for the death of his father, Keenan Anderson in Los Angeles on Friday, January 20, 2023.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

“If you touch someone six times with 50,000 watts of electrical energy… is it any wonder that their heart starts beating a little later?” attorney Carl Douglas told a news conference. “Is it any wonder that four hours later his heart can’t withstand the pressure of that Taser and gives up, leaving a 5-year-old boy in his wake?”

The claim was filed on behalf of Anderson’s son, Syncere Kai Anderson, who represented his mother, Gabrielle Hansell, the trustee of his estate, in addition to their attorneys.

Anderson, 31, a high school English teacher in Washington, D.C., and cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, was the suspect in a traffic accident when he was arrested by police in Venice. He later fled from officers and resisted arrest, police said.

Anderson screamed for help after being pinned down on the street by officers and repeatedly shocked, according to a video released by the department.

“They’re trying to kill me,” Anderson yelled.

Attorney Carl Douglas, right, holds a press conference with Gabrielle Hansel, guardian of Syncere Kai Anderson, 5, to announce the filing of $50 million in damages against the City of Los Angeles following the death of Keenan Anderson, pictured right, on a press conference in Los Angeles on Friday, January 20, 2023.
Attorney Carl Douglas, right, holds a press conference with Gabrielle Hansel, guardian of Syncere Kai Anderson, 5, to announce the filing of $50 million damages against the City of Los Angeles following the death of Keenan Anderson, pictured right, on a press conference in Los Angeles on Friday, January 20, 2023.

AP Photo/Damian Dovargane

Footage showed an officer resting his forearm on Anderson’s chest and an elbow on that neck.

“They’re trying to get George Floyd to me,” Anderson said in reference to the black man killed by officers in Minnesota.

“We can only wonder what Keenan Anderson meant,” said attorney Ben Crump. But if he meant that he would end up dead at the end of the fight at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, then Keenan Anderson was right. Tell George Floyd him.

Chief Michel Moore said Anderson initially obeyed officers when they investigated whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But he was subdued after struggling with officers who had been chasing him as he fled.

Anderson ran in fear — as other black men did — when additional officers responding to a call for help ran to him, Douglas said.

The charge alleges officers used unreasonable deadly force, negligently and inappropriately deployed the Taser, failed to complete training on the hazards of asphyxia while handcuffing Anderson and conspired to conceal and distort information contained in false police reports.

An LAPD toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in Anderson’s body, the chief said. The coroner’s office will also conduct a toxicology report.

The officers have yet to be named, but their union released a statement saying the family and lawyers “shamelessly tried to take advantage” of a “tragic incident”.

An LAPD spokesman declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on pending lawsuits.

After being subdued, Anderson went into cardiac arrest and died in a hospital about four hours later.

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