‘They’re Trying to George Floyd Me’: Black Teacher Dead After Being Tased By LAPD

Keenan Anderson, the cousin of a Black Lives Matter co-founder, is the third man of color to die after an encounter with the LAPD in 2023.
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Body camera footage shows a LAPD officer holding a Taser against Keenan Anderson. 

Body-camera footage from Los Angeles police officers shows a cop tasing a Black teacher six times as he begged for his life, hours before he died in hospital. 

The footage, taken from the body cameras of officers responding to a traffic accident and released Wednesday, showed a group of officers holding Keenan Anderson on the ground, appearing to press an elbow into his neck, and tasing him. While being detained, Anderson, 31, repeatedly shouted, “They’re trying to George Floyd me!” He also said “Help, they’re trying to kill me,” while surrounded by at least eight officers. 


Anderson, whose cousin Patrisse Cullors is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, is the third man of color to be killed after an interaction with LAPD in 2023—just days into the year. The deaths have prompted L.A. Mayor Karen Bass to call for “urgent change” in how police use force and respond to mental health-related calls.  

According to police, an officer on a motorcycle was flagged down at Venice Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard at around 3:35 p.m. on Jan. 3 due to a traffic accident. Body camera footage shows the officer on the bike approaching Anderson, who was running around in the street; police described him as “exhibiting erratic behavior.” 

In a news conference, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Anderson “committed a felony hit and run when caused a traffic collision and then attempted to flee from the location.” Moore said a bystander video “depicts Mr. Anderson attempting to get into another person’s car without their permission.”

The video showed Anderson complying when being asked to get on the sidewalk, with his arms initially behind his back and later placed in the air. 

Anderson repeatedly told the officer, “Somebody’s trying to kill me” and said, “I didn’t mean to, please sir, I didn’t mean to.” 


Anderson kneeled on the ground with his hands behind his head, the footage showed, as the officer called for back-up and noted that there was a collision with a possible driver under the influence. 

Anderson told the officer he lost the key to his BMW. There’s a pause in the footage, with LAPD saying that seven minutes later, Anderson attempted to run away. The footage showed him telling the officer, “I want people to see me,” while moving closer to the street, hands still raised, before crossing the street. 

The motorcycle officer chased him on the bike and shouted, “Turn over on your stomach right now,” as several officers closed in on Anderson. He started to turn over but then tried to get back up. As the officers grabbed him, he repeatedly said, “Please don’t this,” followed by, “Help me, they’re trying to kill me.” 

Footage from a second body camera appeared to show one officer pressing his elbow on Anderson’s neck as another officer repeated, “Turn over or I’m [going to] tase you.” 

Anderson responded, “They’re trying to George Floyd me! They’re trying to George Floyd me!” 

Eventually the officer with the taser deployed his weapon six times, as Anderson at times cried out. Another body camera showed the officer tasing Anderson even while he was on his stomach with officers holding his wrists. Moore said he believes the first two taser deployments “were not effective”; the next four took place with the taser placed against Anderson’s body over the course of 33 seconds. 


Additional body camera footage showed Anderson handcuffed with police tying his ankles together. 

Anderson at times yelled, “They think I killed C Lo,” “they’re trying to sedate me,” and “I know too much.” 

Five minutes later, police said paramedics arrived on scene and transported Anderson to the hospital. 

“While at the hospital and after several hours following the use of force, Anderson experienced a medical emergency, did not respond to life saving efforts by medical staff and was pronounced deceased,” police said in a media release. Police also said initial toxicology tests showed that he had cocaine metabolite and cannabinoids in his system. 

VICE News asked the LAPD what its policy is on how long an officer can tase someone and why it released the results of his drug test. An LAPD spokesperson referred VICE News to the released footage and news conference. 

In the news conference, Moore said there’s no limit as to how many times an officer can taser someone but “Officers should generally avoid repeated or simultaneous activations to avoid potential injury to the suspect.” He said the officer who tased Anderson, “believed each activation was achieving some level of compliance” but that Anderson “resisted” once the tasing ended. 


Police said the city coroner’s office will complete its own report. 

Appearing in front of LAPD headquarters Wednesday, Carl E. Douglas, a lawyer representing Anderson’s family, said police’s use-of-force was “excessive” and that Anderson’s “heart could not withstand that trauma” 

Douglas has not yet responded to VICE News’ request for comment. 

In an Instagram post, Black Lives Matter’s Cullors said her cousin was a high school English teacher. 

“LAPD has killed three people this year. One of them is my family member. Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father,” she wrote.  “Keenan we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence. I love you.” 

The families of Takar Smith and Oscar Sanchez, the other two men killed after interactions with LAPD this year, have said both were experiencing mental health issues. 

“I am deeply troubled that mental health experts were not called in, even when there was a documented history of past mental health crisis. When there is no immediate risk to others, law enforcement must not be the first responder when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis,” Bass said in her statement about the deaths. 

Digital Pioneers Academy, the Washington, D.C.-school where Anderson worked, put out a statement about his death, asking how police could have de-escalated the situation. 


“Our community is grieving. But we’re also angry. Angry that, once again, a known, loved, and respected member of our community is no longer with us. Angry that another talented, beautiful Black soul is gone too soon,” the statement said.  

“Keenan was a deeply committed educator and father of a six-year-old son. He had over eight years of experience as a teacher and leader. In less than six months at Digital Pioneers Academy, he established strong relationships with scholars and staff. He was beloved by all.” 

In 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported that shootings by LAPD officers were on the rise again after years of decline.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.