Woman dies in police custody, physical restrain, heart condition & bipolar factors in death

A woman died in Cleveland police custody nearly two months ago because she was physically restrained in a prone position, and her heart condition and bipolar disorder were also factors, a coroner said on Friday.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office ruled that Tanisha Anderson’s death was a homicide.

Anderson died on November 12 at hospital after being handcuffed, taken into police custody and then losing consciousness while having a mental-health episode.

Relatives said the 37-year-old was schizophrenic, and they claimed an officer used excessive force.

In a statement, Cleveland police said its own use of force investigation team is looking into the death.

The two officers involved are on restricted duty, the department said.

Anderson’s cause of death was ruled ‘sudden death associated with physical restraint in a prone position,’ the medical examiner’s office said, while also citing coronary artery disease and her bipolar disorder.

Her family said at a news conference nearly two weeks ago that they wanted more answers about what happened and that Cleveland officers need better training on dealing with mentally ill people.

In December, the police force was heavily criticized in a U.S. Justice Department report that found excessive use of force and civil rights violations.

Federal investigators spent 18 months looking into use of force policies in Cleveland after a series of well-publicized incidents, including the killing of two unarmed civilians in a hail of police gunfire after a high-speed chase.

The Justice Department’s finding will force the city to devise a plan to reform the police department. That plan must be approved by a federal judge and will be overseen by an independent monitor.

Lawyer Michael Nelson, Co-Chair of the NAACP”s Criminal Justice Committee told WKYC, ‘ It was a crime. The person was killed by the officer..The person’s head was slammed on the ground. They were choked to death…We believe an indictment should result.’

New Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Union President Steve Loomis said, ‘Our hearts go out to her family…The officers responded exactly as they were trained to do….We’re not surprised by the findings. She had previous medical conditions.’

Anderson’s family expressed their sadness following her untimely death and place some of their blame on the police who handled her mental health episode.

In a statement, Tanisha’s family said,’ The family demands justice for Tanisha, a thorough criminal investigation and an independent prosecutor that results in accountability by police officers and the Cleveland Police Department.’

‘What we don’t understand is, why she was treated like a criminal?’ Mike Anderson, Tanisha’s uncle, said following her death.

Source: The DailyMail

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