A 37-year old bipolar and schizophrenic Black woman died last Thursday afternoon in Cleveland after police slammed her against the pavement outside her family’s home.
Tanesha Anderson was pronounced dead at Cleveland Clinic nearly two hours after the altercation with the officers.
“They killed my sister,” her brother Joell Anderson, 40, told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I watched it.”
Police arrived at the 1300 block of Ansel Road when a family member reported that Anderson was disturbing the peace, according to The Plain Dealer. The officers and family members agreed that she would be taken to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for an evaluation, police said.
The official police account, however, doesn’t match what Tanesha’s family members said happened.
According to a press release, police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow said, “As the officers escorted Anderson to the police vehicle, she began actively resisting the officers.”
“The woman began to kick at officers,” Pillow 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.”
According to her brother’s account of what happened, Tanesha became nervous in the backseat of the car and tried to get out.
“She was more of a danger to herself than others,” her brother told the Plain Dealer.
The police struggled with Tanesha and one of the officers drew a Taser. Anderson said he begged the officer not to use the weapon. Failed attempts to get Tanesha back into the car led one officer to use a takedown move to get her on the pavement.
The officer placed his knee on her back and handcuffed her. According to her brother, that’s when she became unresponsive. The takedown lifted Tanesha’s dress above her waist and her brother said he had to use his jacket to cover her.
Anderson said he asked the officers to help his unconscious sister, but they refused to touch her until a female officer arrived.
Tanesha remained on the ground for roughly 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived, her brother said.
“She was outgoing, silly, always joking,” he said. “She just wasn’t doing very well that day.”
The Plain Dealer says the medical examiner has yet to determine what killed her. The Cleveland Division of Police Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team is examining the case.