Cocaine Use, Enlarged Heart Factors in Keenan Anderson Death: Family Files $100 Million Lawsuit

This screen shot of Keenan Anderson was taken from the LAPD video.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner released its findings in the death of Keenan Darnell Anderson, 31, on June 2.

The report (“Cause and Manner of Death Determined for Keenan Darnell Anderson”) listed the cause of death “as effects of cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) and cocaine use (death determined hours after restraint and conducted energy device [CED] use); the manner of death is undetermined.”

The report notes that on January 3, law enforcement personnel responded to the scene of an auto accident where Mr. Anderson was a driver.

The report said, “Mr. Anderson was observed making erratic statements and appeared agitated. He soon fled on foot and was restrained by multiple officers who reportedly used wrist locks and hobbling techniques, and a CED.

“External analysis of the discharged CED revealed probes were deployed without skin impact and that trigger activations were discharged to Mr. Anderson’s back via drive-stun application. 

“Minutes after being subdued, Mr. Anderson was treated by responding fire department personnel, where he became unconscious with labored breathing.”

The report notes he was transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead hours after his encounter with law enforcement.

An autopsy was completed on January 11 and the manner of the death was certified on June 1.

Keenan Anderson, a relative of Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, was visiting his family in Los Angeles over the Christmas holiday when the accident occurred at the intersection of Lincoln and Venice Boulevards.

Initially, the family filed a $50 million damages claim against the city after Anderson’s death in January. It was rejected.

After the release of the coroner’s report Mayor Karen Bass in a June 2 statement said, “Keenan Anderson was a father, a son, a brother, a cousin, and an educator of young people. He was loved and he is missed. My thoughts are with his friends and family as I know the release of this report will cause them and many Angelenos great pain as they still mourn this loss.

“I remain committed to expanding the public safety system to include health professionals and to ensuring LAPD officers receive the best possible training to assist people in crisis.”

L.A. Attorney Carl Douglas and civil rights attorney Ben Crump held a press conference on June 19. A suit seeking damages of $100 million, alleging civil rights violations, has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“It matters not whether there was cocaine in his system because the actions of the officers were wrong,” Douglas said.

“Had he not been Tased, Keenan Anderson would be here today. Look at the video. Your eyes are not deceiving you. What killed him was an overdose of excessive force,” Crump said.

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