Cleveland Police Custody Death Ends in Financial Settlement

The family of Tanisha Anderson, 37, who died while in the custody of Cleveland Police in 2014, held a press conference on Monday, February 6, 2017, after they released news to the media of a settlement reached with the City of Cleveland in the lawsuit filed by Anderson’s estate in her wrongful death.

Tanisha Anderson’s Family Full Press Conference on February 6, 2017:

Attorneys speaking on behalf of Anderson’s family, including her mother, Cassandra Johnson, and uncle, Michael Anderson, stated that the family yet has stipulations in the settlement agreement with the city that have not been addressed, including the placement of a plaque to honor Tanisha Anderson and remind all first responders to remain vigilant when encountering the mentally ill, ensuring the safety of all and improved training for police officers in methods of safe interventions for both them and those in their custody.

The family’s proposed plaque reads: “May all police and other first responders stay vigilant toward the mentally ill persons they encounter. May we always have safe outcomes.”

Cassandra Johnson has called for criminal charges to be levied against the two Cleveland police officers involved in her daughter’s death, Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers. The two officers have been the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation since the November 2014 incident. It is now up to the Ohio Attorney General’s office whether criminal charges will be forthcoming.

Michael Anderson announced that the family would be establishing a foundation in Tanisha Anderso’s name.

The City of Cleveland has yet to issue a statement on the settlement reached with the Anderson estate in the 37-year-old woman’s death that was ruled to be a homicide by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office.

November 2014 Death of Tanisha Anderson Ruled a Homicide

Tanisha Anderson died Nov. 12, 2014, after her family called Cleveland Police to the home on Ansel Road when Anderson was experiencing an exacerbation of symptoms of her schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. The two police officers who answered the emergency call struggled with Tanisha Anderson before handcuffing her hands behind her back and placing her in the back seat of the patrol car.

When Tanisha Anderson got out of the car, one of the two police officers used a take-down move on her, resulting in her lying prone on the ground. He placed his knee on her back, after which Ms. Anderson stopped moving. Her death was ruled a homicide by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office, citing positional asphyxiation as the main cause of death with additional factors including the victim’s weight and other health issues.

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