LOS ANGELES (DC News Now) — Lawyers representing the family of a teacher from D.C. who died after Los Angeles police repeatedly used a Taser on him during an encounter on Jan. 23 filed paperwork looking for $50 million in damages.
Keenan Darnell Anderson, who taught English at Digital Pioneers Academy in Southeast, was in California visiting family. Anderson, 31, was from Los Angeles, originally.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Anderson acted strangely and erratically when officers gave him commands to get on the ground following a traffic incident. Police tased him several times, and Anderson died hours later in the hospital.
The claim for $50 million, filed with the Office of the City Clerk in Los Angeles, says, in part, “that because of implicit bias, each of the unknown involved police officers assumed Mr. Anderson presented a serious threat to someone’s safety, and then assaulted, battered and tased him at least six times in response…Mr. Anderson had not posed any objectively reasonable threat to anyone, but was grabbed, compressed against the hardened surface, and repeatedly tased on account of his African American race.”
Not only does the family contend that the use of force against Anderson was disproportionate, given the situation, but it holds that officers who were there did not get medical assistance for Anderson in a timely manner, even though it was clear he was in need of it.
The claim states:
The Claimants are further informed and believe that each of the unknown involved Police officers has conspired, and continues to conspire to hide and distort the true facts concerning this incident. This conspiracy is furthered by each of the unknown involved police officers described above, preparing false and misleading reports, as well as providing false and misleading statements concerning the true nature of their interaction with Mr. Anderson, the circumstances leading up to his being assaulted, battered, and tased, and their delay in summoning medical assistance to treat Mr. Anderson’s injuries.
The $50 million is broken into two amounts: $35 million for Anderson’s 5-year-old son and $15 million for the Estate of Keenan Darnell Anderson.