Cleveland police killed a bipolar and schizophrenic woman in front of her family after they slammed her to the pavement outside her family’s home.
Tanesha Anderson, 37, was pronounced dead at Cleveland Clinic early Thursday after an altercation with officers two hours earlier.
“They killed my sister,” her 40-year-old brother Joell Anderson said with welling eyes in his living room Thursday night. “I watched it.”
Officers were called to the home after a family member reported that Anderson was disturbing the peace.
Patrolmen had lengthy discussions with Tanesha Anderson and members of her family. Everyone agreed she should undergo an evaluation at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, police said.
The official police account of what happened next is at odds with what several members of Tanesha Anderson’s family said they witnessed.
“As the officers escorted Anderson to the police vehicle, she began actively resisting the officers,” police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow said in a press release.
Officers placed her in handcuffs and she began to resist officers’ attempts to put her in a squad car, Pillow said.
“The woman began to kick at officers,” he said. “A short time later the woman stopped struggling and appeared to go limp. Officers found a faint pulse on the victim and immediately called EMS.”
Joell Anderson gave a very different account. “She was more of a danger to herself than others,” he told Cleveland.com. According to his account, two officers escorted Anderson to the police cruiser. She sat herself in the backseat but became nervous about the confined space and attempted to get out.
Police struggled to keep her in the vehicle, with one of the officers drawing out his Taser. Anders on said he begged the officer not the use the weapon on his sister. Anderson called for her brother and mother as an officer repeatedly pressed down on her head to get her in the backseat.
The officer placed his knee on Tanesha’s back and handcuffed her. She never opened her eyes or spoke another word, her brother said. According to Joell, the officers refused to touch Anderson until a female officer arrived.
Anderson’s family watched her lie on the ground for about 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived. The medical examiner has not determined what killed her.
“She was outgoing, silly, always joking,” Joell Anderson told Cleveland.com. “She just wasn’t doing very well that day.” The Cleveland Division of Police Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team is investigating the incident.
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