Tanisha Anderson, 37, died suddenly after she was restrained in a prone position in a confrontation with Cleveland police Nov. 13. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Her family called police twice on Nov. 13 to report the 37-year-old woman was disturbing the peace, police said. They eventually agreed to let police take her to St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.
Police said Anderson began to kick at the officers as they escorted her to a police car, and went limp during the struggle. But Anderson’s brother, Joell Anderson, told Northeast Ohio Media Group that Anderson got nervous after voluntarily getting into the back of the police car.
She left the cruiser, and a police officer performed a take-down move, placed his knee on Anderson’s back as she lay face-down on the pavement and handcuffed her before she stopped moving, according to Anderson’s family.
The department’s Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team continues to probe the incident. Investigators have not yet determined if the officer’s use of force was justified, but Anderson has become one of the faces of a 58-page Justice Department reportthat found, among other things, many Cleveland police officers are not properly trained to handle encounters with residents with mental illnesses.
Specifically, the report found, officers often do not practice proper deescalation techniques to keep a situation from getting out of control and wind up using cruel and excessive force against the mentally and medically ill.
It’s unclear if the officers involved in Anderson’s arrest were among the department’s 400 certified crisis intervention officers. The family has publicly called for the department to require every Cleveland police officer to receive 40 hours of special training given by the Cuyahoga County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services.
The officers are on restricted duty, police spokeswoman detective Jennifer Ciaccia said Friday.
Mauvion Green, Anderson’s 16-year-old daughter, said she hopes her mother’s death will be a catalyst for change.
“I am hoping for a change in the police system,” Green said. “If they have a job to protect people, that’s what they should be doing.”
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Again. Still no lapel video or dash cam video.