Cleveland police officers recently killed a 37-year-old African American woman who died after police slammed her head on the concrete, just outside of her family’s home
According to a local news source, www.cleveland.com, an unarmed 37-year-old woman with mental illness was killed on November 12, 2014 after confrontation with police in Cleveland, Ohio. Tanesha Anderson suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and was pronounced dead at Cleveland Clinic after an altercation with the police two hours prior. Police arrived on the scene after a call was placed to dispatch by a family member claiming that Anderson was disturbing the peace.
“They killed my sister,” her 40-year-old brother Joell Anderson said with welling eyes in his living room Thursday night. “I watched it.”
According to officers, a lengthy discussion with Anderson and her family members ensued and all agreed that she should undergo evaluation at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.
The accounts given by police and family members differ greatly.
“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.”
Anderson’s brother, Joell gives a different report of said encounter.
Two male officers escorted Tanesha Anderson, who was prescribed medication for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, to the police cruiser. She sat herself in the backseat but became nervous about the confined space and tried to get out, Anderson said.
Police struggled to keep her in the car and an officer eventually drew a Taser. Joell Anderson said he begged the officer not to use the weapon on his sister.
As Tanesha Anderson called out for her brother and mother while an officer repeatedly pressed down on her head to get her into the backseat. After several attempts, the officer used a takedown move to force her to the pavement, Joell Anderson said. She hit her head on the concrete. At which point, the officer placed his knee on Tanesha Anderson’s back and handcuffed her. She never opened her eyes or spoke another word, her brother said.
Joell Anderson asked officers to help his unconscious sister. They refused to touch her until a female officer called to the scene arrived, Joell Anderson said.
To make matters worse, his sister’s sundress was lifted above her waist when the officer took her down. Joell Anderson used his jacket to cover her naked lower body.
The Anderson family watched Tanesha Anderson lie on the ground for about 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived. The medical examiner has not determined what killed the woman.
“She was outgoing, silly, always joking,” Joell Anderson said. “She just wasn’t doing very well that day.”
The Cleveland Division of Police Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team is examining the case. At this point, none of the officers involved have been fired, placed on leave, or reprimanded for their actions surrounding this case.
-Nykki Siren (@QueenMelaK)