Family of woman who died in Cleveland police custody launches awareness campaign

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Photo courtesy: 14 Minutes campaign

CLEVELAND – Family and friends of a woman who died in Cleveland police custody in 2014, say she was on the ground handcuffed and held in a prone position for 14 minutes before EMS was called.

And they now have made T-shirts  that say “14 minutes” to help bring awareness to Tanisha Anderson’s case.

“It’s been 21 months and we are still waiting for the investigation on her death to be complete,” said her uncle, Michael Anderson.

The family is asking for people to take pictures of themselves with a reference to 14 minutes and to post it to their social media account.

“We are asking they make the caption #justicefortanishaanderson and #14minutes,” Anderson said. “We want police to treat each mentally ill person with whom they have contact with respect and dignity.”

The Fox 8 I-Team has found officials with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have not yet been able to start reviewing  her  death  even though the case was to be transferred to them months ago, because they still haven’t been sent the file

Tanisha Anderson died in police custody in November 2014 when her family wanted her taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. The police union disputes Tanisha was handcuffed and slammed to the ground.

The case was first investigated by Cleveland police, then the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.

The sheriff’s department gave the investigation to prosecutors in June 2015 to determine if the case should be presented to a grand jury to decide  if the officers should face criminal charges. At that time, the family thought they were finally going to get answers, but they say they just got another delay.

In May, the first special master recused himself after having the file for weeks, saying he had a conflict on the case. Another special master, Retired Lake County Judge Joseph Gibson, was appointed in May, and the file remains with him.

Attorneys Alphonse Gerhardstein, David Malik and Sara Gedeon, who represent the family in a federal civil suit, say the delay has been agonizing on the family.

For more on this case, click here.