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Report Blames Cleveland Officers, City in Tanisha Anderson Death

Tanisha Anderson
Joell Anderson

A police consultant says Cleveland officers did not follow common police practices, which contributed to the death of Tanisha Anderson. Thereport was filed today as part of an ongoing lawsuit Anderson’s family has filed against the officers and the city.

The report by former Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Lou Reiter charges that the officers were unreasonable and excessive when they restrained Anderson, who had mental health issues. Her family called police for help because she had become unruly.

Family attorney Al Gerhardstein says, “One of the reasons we filed it now is in the hope that the city will take this very seriously and make sure that officers are trained immediately on how to prevent positional asphyxia. Just roll the individual over after they’ve been secured so they're no longer on their chest and suppressing their breathing.”

The county medical examiner’s report says Anderson died from being restrained in a prone position, and that obesity and other health factors contributed to her death.