Gabrielle Hansell held the hand of her 5-year-old son, Syncere Kai Anderson Friday afternoon, as she spoke to a room of reporters over the death of Keenan Anderson.
During Friday’s press conference Civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump and Carl Douglas announced a $50 million dollar claim for damages, filed against the City of Los Angeles over Anderson’s death.
“Hearing Keenan cry out for help the way he did, and watching him be hurt by the same people who are supposed to protect him, is something that I will never get over,” Hansell said speaking to a room of reporters.
Hansell is still grappling with explaining to Anderson’s only child, that Anderson died in police custody earlier this month.
She initially told her son that Anderson died in a car accident, due to the complexities of explaining police brutality to a child.
Anderson was stopped by LAPD over a traffic collision and was tased 6 times as police attempted to arrest him. He is among three LAPD officer involved deaths since the beginning of 2023.
Body camera footage released by the department of Anderson’s arrest, has been shared widely on social media leading to immense outrage and criticism.
Attorneys Douglas and Crump, who are representing Anderson’s family, call his tasing by LAPD “excessive” and say police tased him on the back of his heart leading to his death.
“A person should be tased no more than three times and 15 seconds max, or it could be proven to be fatal. They know this,” Crump said during the press conference.
Douglas said Anderson was respectful of authority during his encounter with police, and it was not until a group of officers arrived close to 10 minutes later, that the situation was escalated.
“$50 million dollars is never going to bring his daddy back to him. This young man will never get to enjoy the presence of his father,” Douglas said.
Speaking to Hansell following the press conference, she shared that she met Anderson in college while attending New Mexico Highland University.
He was someone that was passionate about about issues concerning his loved ones, even if he was not directly impacted.
Hansell relayed what drew her towards Anderson, was the fact he was handsome and tall. He was not someone who sought attention, yet, he could capture the energy of any room he walked into.
According to Hansell, Anderson wanted to pursue a longterm career involving kids, after his role as a Youth Program Director for juvenile teens.
Anderson’s first job after obtaining his bachelors degree was working at a charter school as a teacher.
Although Anderson would unfortunately lose that position due to budget cuts, he continued to pursue his education and had recently graduated with his masters degree.
Anderson’s end goal was to become a pricinipel or dean.
When asked how Anderson’s son is processing his death, Hansell stated that Syncere understands they cannot speak to Anderson like before.
Having her son enrolled in a catholic school where the kids pray regularly, has allowed Syncere the ability to associate that his father was now in Heaven.
“He [Anderson] chose the name Syncere because he believed that this little boy was the most sincere version of himself.”Gabrielle Hansell