January 13, 2023

ACS Statement on the Killing of Keenan Anderson

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, 

Washington, DC — The American Constitution Society released the following statement in response to Thursday’s release of body camera footage documenting the killing of Keenan Anderson, a Black English teacher, by officers of the Los Angeles police department.

"We at ACS are disturbed, saddened, and angered by the violent and inhumane treatment Keenan Anderson suffered at the hands of members of the LAPD, who tased him for nearly thirty seconds despite his repeated pleas for help. He reportedly died four hours later after going into cardiac arrest.

ACS calls for justice for Mr. Anderson, his loved ones, and the communities disproportionately affected by police violence. From slavery, to the lynchings of the Jim Crow era, to our current era of digitally-recorded death, the public spectacle of anti-Black violence, which so often goes unpunished, sends a message of exclusion which affects the entire Black community.

Police profiling, brutality, and excessive force against Black people has a long and devastating history in the United States. Modern police departments in many parts of the country owe their origins to slave patrols, and despite Constitutional amendments and civil rights legislation intended to abolish slavery and guarantee the equal protection of the laws, Black Americans are still more likely than any other racial group to experience harassment, excessive force, and death at the hands of police.

ACS and our members will continue to support efforts to purge institutionalized racism from our nation's laws, institutions, and practices, including in policing and the broader criminal legal system."


ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw.