LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyers for the 5-year-old son of a man who died after repeatedly being shocked by Los Angeles police with a stun gun following a traffic stop filed a $50 million claim for damages Friday against the city.
The claim is required before Keenan Anderson’s son can sue LA police for civil rights violations for shocking him six times in less than a minute to subdue him Jan. 3.
“He was a flower just beginning to bloom but the LAPD unfortunately was a hammer,” the family’s attorney, Carl Douglas, said at a news conference announcing the case. “They treated that flower like it was a nail?”
The claim was filed on behalf of Anderson’s son, Syncere Kai Anderson, who stood with his mother, Gabrielle Hansell, alongside their attorneys.
Anderson, a 31-year-old high school English teacher in Washington, D.C., and cousin of Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, was the suspect in a hit-and-run traffic collision in Venice. Police said he ran from officers and resisted arrest.
Anderson screamed for help after he was pinned to the street by officers, according to video released by the department.
“They’re trying to kill me,” Anderson yelled.
Footage showed an officer pressing his forearm on Anderson’s chest and an elbow in this neck.
“They’re trying to George Floyd me,” Anderson said in reference to the Black man killed by officers in Minnesota.
Chief Michel Moore said Anderson initially complied with officers as they investigated whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But he was subdued after he ran into the middle of the street and resisted arrest.
An LAPD toxicology test found cocaine and cannabis in Anderson’s body, although those results are separate from the coroner’s independent report, the chief said.
The officers haven’t been named yet but their union issued a statement saying the family and attorneys were “trying to shamelessly profit” from a “tragic incident.”
After he was subdued, Anderson went into cardiac arrest and died at a hospital about four hours later.