Takar Smith, 45, and Oscar Sánchez, 35, were shot and killed by Los Angeles police officers in the early days of 2023. Anderson’s death has only added to protests over excessive use of force. and the brutality of law enforcement toward Blacks and Latinos. mens.
dr. Melina Abdullah, who co-founded the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter with Patrisse Cullors, told BuzzFeed News on Saturday that the news hit her hard.
“When we first heard about Keenan Anderson, we were shocked that there was a third police murder. [in 2023], and then when Patrisse came up and said, ‘That’s my cousin,’ it completely threw us off,” Abdullah said. “It made it more personal. He reminded us how often this happens and how close to home it can hit.”
Anderson lived in Washington, DC, where he taught 10th grade English at Digital Pioneers Academy. She was visiting her family for winter break at the time of her death, according to a statement the academy’s founder, Madea Ashton, wrote on the school’s website.
“Our community is grieving”, Ashton saying. “But we are so angry. Angry that once again a known, loved and respected member of our community is no longer with us. Angry that another beautiful and talented black soul has left too soon.
Mayor Karen Bass issued a statements on Wednesday, expressing condolences to the families and expressing concern over the videos. “The need for urgent change is clear,” Bass wrote. “We must reduce the use of force in general, and I have absolutely no tolerance for excessive force.”
Abdullah is calling for Police Chief Michel Moore to step down. “We need to fight for justice on behalf of Keenan Anderson,” Abdullah said.