Keenan Anderson, cousin of BLM founder, died of enlarged heart, cocaine: officials

Written by on June 4, 2023


The cousin of Black Lives Matter’s co-founder died of an enlarged heart and from cocaine use hours after he was tased repeatedly by police in Los Angeles earlier this year, according to the LA County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Keenan Anderson, 31, died after police officers tased him several times after he allegedly tried to flee a vehicle accident on Jan. 3, according to police officials who released a 19-minute video about the encounter. The Washington D.C. native was visiting family in southern California at the time.

“The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner determined the cause of death for 31-year-old Keenan Darnell Anderson 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,” said the department in a statement, without specifying how much of an effect the tasing had on the death.

Keenan Anderson died on Jan. 3 after an LAPD officer tased him several times.

Police said Anderson had crashed his car cat a busy intersection and was “running in the middle of the street and exhibiting erratic behavior,” LAPD Capt. Kelly Muñiz said after Anderson’s death.

He initially obeyed officers’ orders and sat on the sidewalk, but said he thought police were planting evidence in his BMW. Suddenly he took off down the street.

Officers catch up to him and wrestle him to the ground, video shows. Anderson can be heard with bystanders for help as multiple cops restrain him on the asphalt. 

Police released bodycam footage of Anderson’s arrest after he fled police.
Los Angeles Police Department

He can be heard saying “They’re trying to George Floyd me … They’re trying to George Floyd me! — in reference 2020 police murder of a Minneapolis man that sparked nationwide protests, many led by Black Lives Matter.

After more than a half-dozen warnings that officers would deploy a Taser if he didn’t stop resisting, an officer uses the stun gun at least six times on Anderson, video shows.

The English teacher and father of a 5-year-old son died about four hours later at the hospital. 

BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors is Anderson’s cousin.
Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Anderson is the cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. 

Days after his death, Anderson’s family filed a $50 million wrongful death claim against the city of Los Angeles — claiming he died as a result of the stun gun shocks.

The family is represented by high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump

The medical examiner’s office said it completed an autopsy on Jan. 11. The results were confirmed on Thursday.

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