Family of Tanisha Anderson Wants Police Better Trained to Handle Mentally Ill

Tanisha Anderson in an undated photo provided by a family representative.
Tanisha Anderson in an undated photo provided by a family representative.

37-year-old Tanisha Anderson died in November as police were trying to restrain her. Anderson had bipolar disorder, and was in distress when her family called 9-1-1.

The family alleges in a lawsuit that police threw Anderson to the ground. Her mother, Cassandra Johnson, told reporters Thursday that Cleveland police treated her daughter like a criminal.

"And she was not a criminal," Johnson said. "She was a person with a mental disorder, and she was treated like somebody that had a weapon. She had no weapon."

The family has sued the city of Cleveland and the two officers involved, alleging excessive force wrongful death, assault and violation of the Americans with Disabilities act.

Cleveland's police union president has said Anderson fell, and was not thrown to the ground. Police say after an investigation, they'll turn the case over to the county prosecutor.

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