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Cleveland Woman’s Death In Police Custody Ruled Homicide By Coroner

tanesha-1024x538A Cleveland medical examiner ruled that the death of Tanisha Anderson in police custody two months ago was a homicide, marking another case of a Black person dying to police violence.

Anderson, 37, suffered from a heart condition and bipolar disorder when she was physically restrained and in a prone position, a coroner said.

Anderson died on November 12 at a hospital after being handcuffed, taken into police custody when she lost consciousness while having a mental-health episode. Relatives said Anderson was schizophrenic, and they claimed an officer used excessive force.

Cleveland police said in a statement that its own use of force investigation team was looking into the death. The two officers involved are on restricted duty, the department said.

Anderson’s cause of death was ruled “sudden death associated with physical restraint in a prone position,” the medical examiner’s office said. It also cited coronary artery disease and her bipolar disorder.

Two weeks ago, Anderson’s family said at a news conference that they wanted more answers about what happened and that Cleveland officers need better training on dealing with mentally ill people.

In December, the police force was heavily criticized in a Justice Department report that found excessive use of force and civil rights violations. Federal investigators spent 18 months looking into use of force policies in Cleveland after a series of incidents, including the killing of two unarmed civilians in a hail of police gunfire after a high-speed chase.

The Justice Department’s finding forces the city to reform the police department, a plan that must be approved by a federal judge and will be overseen by an independent monitor.

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