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He was injured during the BLM protests in LA last spring. Now he's suing the LAPD and his officer-uncle

Faith E. Pinho, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

“There isn’t a paycheck in the world that should be worth your morals and values and family,” Shakir said Tuesday.

Shakir alleges that Anderson and other Los Angeles police officers violated his civil rights by using unreasonable force and not following proper training procedures. The incident required a series of medical, psychological and psychiatric treatments for Shakir, according to the lawsuit.

The LAPD declined a request for response or an interview with Anderson, saying the force does “not comment on pending lawsuits.”

Shakir’s legal action follows a wave of other lawsuits against the LAPD for its handling of the protests that started last spring. Several of the lawsuits allege that officers inflicted serious injuries on protesters, including a burst testicle, knocked-out teeth and a lost eyeball.

A federal judge Monday extended restrictions on LAPD’s use of the projectile weapons, limiting which officers can use them and where they can be fired. The order forbids officers from targeting individuals with the weapons “unless absolutely necessary to prevent imminent serious bodily injury to the officer or others.”

Given Shakir’s familial relationship to the man he says is responsible for injuring him, lawyer Carl Douglas argues Shakir’s case is monumental.

“Cops have always talked to other cops: ‘We’re not white, we’re not Black, we’re blue.’ I always thought that was balderdash,” Douglas said. “This case alarmed me and touched me like no other in my 42 years, because never have I ever heard of an officer knowing the subject of his abuse — let alone them drawing from the same bloodline.”

Shakir, the owner of Goin’ Postal Candy, a shipping and candy shop on Pico Boulevard, said he didn’t know his mother’s half-brother too well, though Anderson occasionally stopped by family gatherings around the holidays.

“At the end of the day, even though we don’t spend time together — not that much time, we do have family functions every now and then — he knows that’s his family,” said Kelviana James, Shakir’s 34-year-old cousin, about Anderson.

 

Kristen Wright Matthews, 47, had just climbed into bed last May when she saw a notification that her godson, Shakir, had started a live video. A veteran of Los Angeles gang prevention and intervention efforts, Matthews watched his livestream in horror.

“My life literally flashed before my eyes, because I just could not imagine if that incident had gone any differently,” she said. “I almost died. I couldn’t sleep until I heard his voice.”

Matthews described Shakir as “a rose that grew out of concrete.” After his father and mother were incarcerated when he was a child, Shakir said he bounced between homes with his grandmother and aunt before landing in Atlanta, where he attended high school and became a football star.

He earned a scholarship to nearby LaGrange College, studying kinesiology and digital creative media and film. In addition to crafting a unique major and playing football, he started shooting music videos and gaining experience writing, directing and producing.

Just as he was finishing his degree, Shakir returned to Los Angeles in January 2019 to film “Land of No Pity,” a television pilot he created, drawing from his family’s experiences in L.A. The permit that Shakir obtained required a police presence, so he hired his LAPD uncle.

That was the last time Shakir recalled seeing Anderson until their encounter last May.

Times staff writer Kevin Rector contributed to this report.

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