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Cleveland activists to hold rally for Tanisha Anderson

March 14, 2018

Cleveland activists to hold rally for Tanisha Anderson

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Several community organizations will hold a joint rally in Cleveland Wednesday afternoon for Tanisha Anderson advocating for harsher punishment for the officers involved in the woman’s 2014 death.

“Community activists call for an end to police brutality and police misconduct and want justice and accountability for Tanisha Anderson and her family, and for the police officers at issue to be indicted, fired and prosecuted,” according to a news release announcing the rally.

Anderson’s family called the police to help her during a mental-health episode at a relative’s Ansel Road home. The 37-year-old had spent time at a local mental health facility before the Nov. 13, 2014, incident. Anderson calmed down and the first responding officers left the scene.

Officer Scott Aldridge, 49, and Officer Bryan Myers, responded not long after and encountered Anderson at the home. The officers eventually put Anderson in handcuffs following an altercation. She was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. at Cleveland Clinic. Her death was ruled a homicide from “sudden death associated with physical restraint in a prone position,” by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.

A second autopsy, reviewed by Montgomery County Corner Dr. Kent Harshbarger, found that Anderson died from a “cardiac event.” Harshbarger found one of Anderson’s arteries was 70 to 80 percent closed and another was 50 percent closed. She offered suffered from heart disease, which she took medication for.

Police officials disciplined the officers earlier this week. Aldridge was suspended for 10 days without pay. Myers received a written warning.

“The lenient punishment for a murder by police of an innocent and disabled Black woman in distress does not fit the crime,” the statement said.

The rally will be held at 5 p.m. at the intersection of Ansel Road and Superior Avenue in Cleveland.

Cleveland.com will stream the event on Facebook Live. Watch it here.

To comment on this story, please visit cleveland.com’s crime and courts comments section.