Venice, CA-Keenan Anderson, a 10th grade English teacher at Digital Pioneers Academy in Washington, D.C, was killed by the Los Angeles Police Department Jan 3.
He was the cousin of Black Lives Matter Founder Patrisse Cullors visiting Los Angeles for winter break.
Digital Pioneers Academy released a statement on his death:
“The details of his death are as disturbing as they are tragic. He suffered cardiac arrest after being forcibly restrained and repeatedly tased by police following a traffic accident. Keenan is the third person killed by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2023, and we’re 12 days into the new year.
Keenan is the third member of our school community to fall victim to violence in the past 65 days. Two of our high school students – fourteen-year-old Antione Manning and fifteen-year-old Jakhi Snider – died during separate incidents of gun violence this fall.
Our community is grieving. But we’re also angry. Angry that, once again, a known, loved, and respected member of our community is no longer with us. Angry that another talented, beautiful black soul is gone too soon.
Keenan was a deeply committed educator and father of a six-year-old son. He had over eight years of experience as a teacher and leader. In less than six months at Digital Pioneers Academy, he established strong relationships with scholars and staff. He was beloved by all.Police had been called to the scene of a traffic collision and upon arrival, Anderson was identified by several citizens as the person responsible for the collision.“
Anderson, who appeared to be having a mental health crisis, would not listen to officers who at first attempted to calm him down upon their initial encounter.
He was heard saying that his life was in danger and he had pulled a “stunt” that day.
Several minutes later, a few more LAPD officers showed up to the scene and tried to apprehend Anderson.
The officers then chose to tase Anderson several times as they attempted to arrest him.
The department released a statement a few days later, which stated that Anderson died from a “medical emergency.”
“Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and rendered aid to Anderson for the Taser Deployment. Anderson was then transported to a local hospital. While at the hospital and after several hours following the use of force, Anderson experienced a medical emergency, did not respond to life saving efforts by medical staff and was pronounced deceased.”
Anderson’s death has caused massive outrage online and has been shared widely on social media, following release of the body camera footage Wednesday.
Anderson was a well-known and respected teacher in Washington D.C., where he taught high school.