An unarmed woman was slammed to the ground in front of her family and their home. The resulting injury from the incident left her dead two hours later.
An argument had erupted Wednesday in the Cleveland, Ohio, household of Tanesha Anderson, when she allegedly wouldn’t calm down. After the argument escalated, her family had called the police and reported her actions as “disturbing the peace.”
Tanesha had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and had been taking medication.
What happened when the Cleveland Police arrived differed depending on who you asked. The police and Tanesha’s family gave very different accounts.
Officers had restrained the unarmed woman, after which she started fighting them, according to Cleveland Police Sergeant Ali Pillow.
“The woman began to kick at officers. 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.”
Tanesha Anderson’s brother Joell allegedly saw a grittier version of what happened. He claims they got his sister into the police cruiser easily enough, but then she started feeling confined and tried to escape.
Cleveland Police had allegedly held her head down in a “smothering” manner in the back seat of the police cruiser as Tanesha started yelling for help from her mother and Joell. Then Joell claimed they performed a “Judo” take-down, which resulted in her head getting smacked on the concrete. Then the officer allegedly placed a knee on her back, at which point she had her eyes closed and never said a word.
Joell Anderson also allegedly claims that as he watched the police kill the unarmed woman, her sundress was up above her waist. The officers allegedly refused to cover her up or administer aid of any kind to save her life.
It is unclear which side is telling the truth, though police body cameras could have helped. Video evidence could have made it clear whether the family or the police gave us the truth.
— Nettie (@juhneda) November 17, 2014
The Cleveland Division of Police Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team is looking into the matter to determine whose version of the story was correct. Use of excessive force is unfortunately becoming regular news, especially after the Ferguson riots, and this may simply add more kindling to an already growing fire of awareness.
The Anderson family will very likely never forget what happened to Tanesha, no matter whose story was correct.
What do you think really happened in the confrontation between Cleveland Police and the unarmed woman?