Keenan Anderson, BLM Co-Founder’s Cousin, Dies After Being Tased by Cops: ‘He Was Killed by LAPD’

Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old teacher and cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, died after an LAPD arrest earlier this month.

View this video on YouTube

31-year-old Keenan Anderson, an English teacher and cousin to Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, died this month after being tased by police.

Per a regional report from KABC-TV, officers with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) were first called to the scene near Venice Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard on Jan. 3 in connection with a traffic incident. The crash in question, police said, had been caused by Anderson.

Edited footage of the ensuing arrest has since been released by police. At a press conference detailing the release of this footage, as well footage in connection with the police killings of Takar Smith and Oscar Sanchez, LAPD chief Michel Moore alleged that their early investigation has revealed that Anderson “committed a felony hit-and-run when he caused a traffic collision and then attempt to flee from the location.”

The first officer on the scene, as further alleged by Moore, initially witnessed Anderson “running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behavior.” While Moore said that Anderson was resisting during the arrest, the footage shows Anderson stating that he was not. Anderson was ultimately taken to a local hospital, where—per the Associated Press—he went into cardiac arrest.

At one point in the footage, an officer is heard telling another to “watch your elbow, partner” as he uses his elbow against Anderson while restraining him.

View this video on YouTube


“They’re trying to George Floyd me,” Anderson says. Shortly after, Anderson is heard pleading with the officers before a tasing device is seen being deployed.

“While at the hospital, some manner of medical emergency occurred after more than four hours following the use of force,” Moore said at this week’s press conference. “Tragically, despite life-saving measures by the medical staff, Anderson was pronounced deceased at the hospital at 8:15 that evening.”

While Moore made a point to allege that preliminary toxicology included a positive test for cocaine, he also noted that this is separate from the coroner’s own independent autopsy. Furthermore, despite Moore’s mention of alleged preliminary toxicology results, it’s worth pointing out that there has not yet been any official determination as to the cause of death in Anderson’s case. According to Moore, it’s the department’s current stance that it’s “unclear what role the physical struggle with the officers and the use of the taser” played in the death.

As for the use of a taser, police claim there was a single deployment with “six separate activations.” The investigation remains ongoing. Complex has reached out to the LAPD for additional comment.

“This is my cousin Keenan Anderson,” Cullors said in an Instagram post this week in remembrance of her cousin. “He was killed by LAPD in Venice on Jan. 3, 2023. My cousin was an educator and worked with high school aged children. He was an English teacher.”

In the same post, Cullors said “LAPD has killed three people this year,” including a member of her family.

“Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father,” Cullors said. “Keenan we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence.”

In a statement earlier this week, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass pointed to the need for officers to “reduce the use of force overall,” regardless of the outcome of these particular investigations.

“I have grave concerns about the deeply disturbing tapes that were released today,” Bass said. “My heart goes out to the families and loved ones who are mourning the loss of Takar Smith, Keenan Anderson and Oscar Sanchez. Full investigations are underway, and I pledge that the City’s investigations into these deaths will be transparent and will reflect the values of Los Angeles.”

Latest in Life