Lawyers for the 5-year-old son of a man who died after being repeatedly shocked by Los Angeles police with a stun gun after a traffic collision filed a $50 million claim against the city on Friday.
The legal requirement is required beforethe son and estate may sue LA police for wrongful death and civil rights violations for restraining him and shocking him six times with a Taser in less than a minute on January 3rd.
“If you shock someone with 50,000 watts of electrical energy six times … is it really any wonder that moments later his heart will start fluttering?” said lawyer Carl Douglas at a press conference. “Is it any wonder why four hours later his heart could no longer take the pressure of that Taser and gave up, leaving a 5-year-old boy in its wake?”
The claim was filed on behalf of Anderson’s son, Syncere Kai Anderson, who stood with his mother, Gabrielle Hansell, his executor, along with their attorneys.
Anderson, 31, a Washington, DC high school English teacher and cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, was a suspect in a hit-and-run traffic collision when he was pulled over by police in Venice. He later ran from officers and resisted arrest, police said.
Anderson screamed for help after he was pinned to the street by officers and repeatedly shocked, according to video released by the department.
“They’re trying to kill me,” Anderson yelled.
Footage showed an officer pressing his forearm against Anderson’s chest and an elbow to Anderson’s neck.
“They’re trying to George Floyd me,” Anderson said, referring to the black man killed by officers in Minnesota.
“We can only wonder what Keenan Anderson meant,” attorney Ben Crump said. “But if he thought he would end up dead at the end of the meeting at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, then Keenan Anderson was right. They George Floyded him.”
Chief Michel Moore said Anderson initially followed officers as 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 when he bolted.
Anderson ran in fear — as other black men have done — as several officers responding to a call for backup rushed toward him, Douglas said.
The suit said officers used unreasonable deadly force, carelessly and improperly deployed the Taser, failed to follow training on the dangers of choking while handcuffing Anderson and conspired with each other to conceal and distort information in false police reports.
An LAPD toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in Anderson’s body, the chief said. The emergency room will also carry out a toxicology report.
The officers have not yet been named, but their union released a statement saying the family and lawyers are “shamelessly trying to profit from” a “tragic incident”.
An LAPD spokesperson declined comment, citing a policy not to comment on pending litigation.
After being subdued, Anderson went into cardiac arrest and died at a hospital about four hours later.