Report: Sheriff's Investigation into Tanisha Anderson's Death Raises Questions of Police Account

An interesting report comes our way today from Mother Jones, wherein details arise from the recently completed Cuyahoga County Sheriff's investigation into the death of Tanisha Anderson. In short: That report reveals details that clash with an initial Cleveland Police Department investigation into Anderson's death.

(The investigation and prosecutorial discretion was passed to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office last week.)

From MJ:

The recently completed sheriff's investigation, which has not been disclosed publicly, raises questions about the Cleveland Police Department's official account presented in November 2014. According to a law enforcement official familiar with the sheriff's investigation who spoke to Mother Jones, the investigation reveals significant details that the Cleveland PD's account did not include. One is that the officers had put Anderson in the back of their squad car before she became agitated and a physical struggle ensued. Another is that Anderson remained handcuffed after an EMS team arrived and began administering aid, despite that she was unconscious.

From there, the two reports vary fairly dramatically, according to MJ's source, mostly with regard to the timing and sequence of events that night. On Nov. 12, 2014, officers Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers arrived at Anderson's following a call "about a mentally ill family member causing a disturbance." The police department's report paints a calmer picture than the sheriff's office's report. (CPD reports that the officers "immediately" called EMS after Anderson "began actively resisting the officers" and then "stopped struggling and appeared to go limp." CCSO's report has EMS showing up later than initially reported by CPD, with Anderson laying unconscious on the ground for approximately 20 minutes.)

Anderson's death was ruled a homicide last year. She died due to "physical restraint" while being held in a prone position, according to the medical examiner's office. Her cause of death was also linked to ischemic heart disease and "Bipolar disorder with agitation."

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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