Letters to the Editor: Keenan Anderson asked the LAPD for help. He was killed. Why?

Family members console each other at a vigil for Keenan Anderson, who was killed after being tased by LAPD officers.
Family members console one another at a vigil on Jan. 14 for Keenan Anderson, who died after being tased by LAPD officers.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: One of your articles on the death of Keenan Anderson focused on his tasing by Los Angeles Police Department officers. But the relevant part of the action happened earlier.

The officers arrived to find a disoriented man who said, “Please help me.” The police responded by yelling at him, “Get up against the wall.”

I cannot think of a worse thing to say to a person in this state. How about, “How can we help you?”


I don’t think the word “deescalation” was mentioned once in the article. Sad.

Lore Spangler, Los Angeles


To the editor: Many years ago, my late father was a patrol officer with the San Diego Police Department.

One night, he and his partner were called to a disturbance involving a man with a knife. Upon arrival, they observed a man wielding a large knife and shouting incoherently while he walked back and forth on the porch of a house. The officers believed he was showing signs of mental illness.

They did not want to shoot the man but were at a loss about what to do, so they called for a sergeant, who asked for a broom when he arrived and was given one. He then began whacking the man with the broom until he dropped the knife. The man was handcuffed and taken in for evaluation.

The sergeant’s final words on the scene before he left were instructive then and should be now: “Don’t they teach you rookies anything at the academy?”

Steve Thorne, Escondido



To the editor: It should not be that hard to train an L.A. cop to not pull the trigger on his Taser more than once or twice.

And it continues to baffle me that in certain circumstances, a few cops cannot coordinate their efforts to contain one person without killing them.

Robin Doyno, Los Angeles