Man repeatedly Tasered by LAPD died of enlarged heart, cocaine use, coroner says

Man repeatedly Tasered by LAPD died of enlarged heart, cocaine use, coroner says

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A teacher who was repeatedly shocked with a Taser by Los Angeles police died from complications from an enlarged heart and his cocaine use, according to an autopsy report released Friday.

The Jan. 3 death of Keenan Darnell Anderson, 31, sparked outcry over the use of force by the Los Angeles Police Department. It was one of three deadly LAPD encounters, including two shootings, that took place just days after the start of the new year.

The precise circumstances of Anderson’s death were undetermined, but the cause was listed as “the effects of cardiomyopathy and cocaine use” and his death was “determined within hours of the use of a device of restraint and energy conducted,” the coroner’s report states.

The family’s attorney, Carl Douglas, did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press Friday evening seeking comment on the report.

Mayor Karen Bass said her thoughts were with Anderson’s friends and family “as I know the release of this report will cause them and many Angelenos great pain as they still mourn this loss”.

“The coroner raises questions that still need to be answered and I await the outcome of the investigation already underway,” Bass said in a statement.

Anderson was a high school English teacher in Washington, D.C. and cousin of Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

He was visiting family in Los Angeles when he was arrested on suspicion of causing a hit-and-run crash in the Venice area, police said.

A police officer found Anderson “running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behavior,” according to a police account.

Anderson initially complied with officers investigating whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but then fled, Police Chief Michel Moore said.

Police chased Anderson and he was shocked with a Taser at least six times during a struggle while resisting arrest, police said.

“They’re trying to attack George Floyd on me,” Anderson said as an officer threatened to use a stun gun, which was repeatedly deployed seconds later as Anderson lay face down on the sidewalk and begged for help, saying: “I cannot resist.” .”

Anderson screamed for help after being tackled in the street by officers and shocked several times, according to police body camera footage released by the LAPD. The footage also showed an officer pressing his forearm into Anderson’s chest and an elbow into his neck.

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

After being restrained, Anderson went into cardiac arrest and died in hospital approximately four hours later.

His relatives filed a $50 million claim with the city, which is a legal requirement before filing a lawsuit. The complaint alleges the officers used unreasonable force, failed to follow training and filed false police reports.