After a traffic accident on January 3, 2023, 31-year-old Keenan Anderson, who was a 10th-grade teacher and cousin of Black Lives Matter founder co-Patrisse Cullors, was tased to death by police on camera.
In fighting for Anderson’s memory, we must dismantle these four myths.
#1 Tasers are a “safe” alternative to guns.
Tasers have killed over 500 people in recent years, 32% being Black. In Anderson’s case, it took cops only six pulses in 42 seconds to kill Keenan who died just hours later.
#2 Police should handle traffic concerns.
84% of all our interactions with cops happen on the road, traffic stops accounting for 25% of police shootings of unarmed Black men and 10% of overall killings. Alternative solutions exist to keep the streets safe, and with these stats, we urgently need them.
#3 Police victims die of drug use, not violence.
Before an official autopsy, the LAPD conducted a toxicology report, claiming Anderson had drugs in his system. Besides the fact that police have historically lied about drug use, what do drugs have to do with use of force?
#4 Cameras stop police violence.
Whether it’s filming bystanders or bodycams, cops still kill us shamelessly. Transparency is critical, but we deserve to live, not just have evidence of our deaths. We deserve abolition.