Officials have declared the death of a mentally ill woman who died while in the custody of Cleveland police last year a homicide.
According to the Huffington Post, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner ruled that Tanisha Anderson's Nov. 13 death was the result of "sudden death associated with physical restraint in a prone position." The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that the 37-year-old's bipolar disorder and heart disease were also contributing factors.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group adds that Anderson's family called police twice on the day she died because she was having an episode. They allowed police to take Anderson to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for an evaluation, but a struggle ensued after she became afraid:
Police said Anderson began to kick at the officers as they escorted her to a police car, and went limp during the struggle. But Anderson's brother, Joell Anderson, told Northeast Ohio Media Group that Anderson got nervous after voluntarily getting into the back of the police car.
She left the cruiser, and a police officer performed a take-down move, placed his knee on Anderson's back as she lay face-down on the pavement and handcuffed her before she stopped moving, according to Anderson's family.
The Cleveland Police Department released a statement saying that its Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team is looking into the circumstances surrounding Anderson's death. In December, the Department of Justice released a 58-page report which revealed that the police department was poorly trained and resorted to the use of excessive force too often.
On Nov. 22, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland Police Officer Tim Loehmann after his toy gun was mistaken for a real one. Rice's death has also been ruled a homicide, and evidence gathered during the investigation of his death will be presented to a grand jury.