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Killing Black Americans: Iran says US must be held to account for systematic rights violation

Iran has slammed the death of Keenan Anderson, the cousin of a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, after he was repeatedly tasered by police officers in Los Angeles, saying the United States must be held to account for systematic violation of human rights.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said on Saturday that the US government must be held accountable for this “inhumane crime” and its irresponsibility vis-à-vis the repetition of gross and systematic violations of human rights in the country, particularly the rights of minorities and people of color.

Anderson, 31, cousin of Patrisse Cullors, died at a hospital in Santa Monica, California, after suffering a cardiac arrest following the incident on the afternoon of January 3 in Los Angeles’ Venice neighborhood.

According to reports, the school teacher was repeatedly tasered by Los Angeles police officers and restrained following a traffic accident.

In a 13-minute body-cam footage released by LAPD on Wednesday, Anderson is seen begging for help as multiple officers hold him to the ground and one officer presses his elbow along with his body weight onto his neck.

Police killing of Black Lives Matter co-founder’s cousin sparks outcry in US

“They’re trying to George Floyd me. They’re trying to George Floyd me,” Anderson can be heard saying in the footage, in reference to the US police killing of Floyd in May 2020 in  Minneapolis that sparked racial justice protests around the world.

Kan’ani further lambasted the US’ hypocritical policies on meddling with other countries’ affairs, saying, “The American regime, which hypocritically interferes in the internal affairs of other countries and sheds crocodile tears in order to achieve political goals, remains silent regarding the extreme violence and discriminatory and hate-mongering actions of the country’s police against people of color.”

The Iranian spokesperson added that the US police’s brutal action in murdering Anderson, which was repetition of Floyd’s heinous killing, once again shocked the world.

A 2021 study in the medical journal The Lancet recorded 30,800 deaths from police violence across the country between 1980 and 2018, far higher than estimates offered by the US National Vital Statistics System.

It said more than 55 deaths of deaths from police violence in the US from 1980 to 2018 were misclassified or unreported in official vital statistics reports.

Meanwhile, according to new data released earlier this month, US police killed at least 1,176 people in 2022, making it the deadliest year on record for police violence in the country since experts first started tracking the killings.

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