Questions mount about a mentally ill black woman’s death in police custody


Tanisha Anderson
Tanisha Anderson

source: Mother Jones
published: 22 February 2016

Since Tanisha Anderson’s death in November 2014, few details have been made public about how the 37-year-old black woman died while in the custody of two Cleveland police officers.

Anderson, whose family reported she was mentally ill, died after falling unconscious while lying handcuffed on a sidewalk outside her home.

The 15-month-long investigation is now in the hands of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine: In a statement last Tuesday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty requested DeWine take over the case following a Cuyahoga County sheriff’s investigation, which McGinty said revealed “facts that created a conflict of interest” for his office. McGinty—who led the controversial investigation into the police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and is running for reelection next month—did not specify what that conflict of interest was.

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.

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