Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Anthony Anderson is laid to rest days after his mysterious death. Now, people in his East Baltimore neighborhood are rallying for a thorough investigation.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on their fight for answers.
Police say the 46-year-old died during a routine drug arrest, but witnesses say his death came as a result of injuries during what they call a violent arrest.
It’s been one week since Anthony Anderson’s death. Tears over his passing have now become cries for justice.
“My father was the only parent we had left,” Anthony Anderson’s daughter Yvonne Anderson said.
Late night on Sept. 21, Baltimore City police say Anthony Anderson was stopped on suspicion of drug possession. During the arrest, they say he tried to get rid of the pills.
“The officers indicated they witnessed him putting what they believe to be drugs in his mouth during that time,” Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department, said.
Police claim Anthony Anderson choked. But witnesses who saw the arrest, including family members, say that’s not how it happened.
“Picked him up and slammed him on his head,” one witness explained.
“Guy never looked back or anything. He didn’t even see the police coming,” Keith Johnson, who witnessed the arrest, said.
Baltimore City police have since changed their story saying they are unsure how Anthony Anderson died and are waiting on autopsy results.
On Saturday, brokenhearted family members laid Anthony Anderson to rest while his community marched for justice.
“There are far too many people who find themselves victimized by police brutality, excessive force and police killings here in Baltimore City,” Rev. C.D. Witherspoon said.
Witherspoon has been at the forefront of the recent rallies on Montford Street with the community demanding the prosecution of the officers involved during Anthony Anderson’s arrest.
“I seen what they did to my father. I think that was wrong,” Yvonne Anderson said.
Witherspoon believes Anthony Anderson’s death is just one of many caused by police brutality and says it’s time for a change.
“Far too frequently, police officers get off the hook when they harm, brutalize or kill somebody and we want these officers charged with murder,” Witherspoon said.
Anderson suffered at least one broken bone during the arrest.