Civil rights attorneys Carl Douglas and Ben Crump filed a $50 million Claim for Damages against the city of Los Angeles on behalf of Syncere Kai Anderson, the 5-year-old son of Keenan Anderson on Friday, Jan. 20. The senior Anderson died after a confrontation with Los Angeles police officers in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles on Jan. 3.
The legal claim is required before Keenan Anderson’s son and estate can sue L.A. police for wrongful death and civil rights violations for restraining him and shocking him six times with a Taser in less than a minute.
The city will have 45 days to respond, either accepting liability or denying the claim, the latter of which paves the waves the way for Douglas and Crump to file a lawsuit on behalf of Anderson’s son.
Douglas (O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson) says that in his 42 years of suing the police, the city has never accepted responsibility.
“If you Taser someone with 50,000 watts of electrical energy six times … is there really any wonder that moments later his heart will begin to flutter?” attorney Carl Douglas said at a news conference. “Is there any wonder why four hours later his heart could no longer withstand the pressure from that Taser and gave up, leaving a 5-year-old boy in his wake?”
Anderson, 31, a 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 when he was stopped by police in Venice. He later ran from officers and resisted arrest, police said.
Anderson screamed for help after he was pinned to the street by officers and repeatedly shocked, 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 his neck.
“They’re trying to George Floyd me,” Anderson said in reference to the Black man killed by officers in Minnesota.
After being subdued, Anderson went into cardiac arrest and died at a hospital about four hours later.
“We can only wonder what Keenan Anderson meant,” attorney Ben Crump said. “But if he meant that he would end up dead at the end of the encounter at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, then Keenan Anderson was correct. They George Floyd him.”
Days before the announcement of the claim being filed, Patrisse Cullors, along with Dr. Melina Abdullah and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles held a press conference outside of city hall calling for the removal of LA police officers from minor traffic accidents.