Cleveland officers respond to lawsuit, say Tanisha Anderson contributed to own death

Posted at 1:20 PM, Sep 14, 2016

More than a year after the family of Tanisha Anderson filed a lawsuit against the City of Cleveland and two Cleveland police officers, the officers named in the lawsuit are responding.

In the officers' official response filed in federal court Wednesday, Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers said Anderson contributed to her own death through negligence.   
The lawsuit filed by Anderson's family in January 2015 alleged that the 37-year-old's death was "part of the pattern and practice of excessive force by Cleveland Police Division officers."

The response from the officers says the "plaintiffs' claims and damages may be limited or barred, in whole or in part by the common law defenses of contributory negligence, comparative negligence, assumption of risk, and lack of direct and proximate cause."

The officers also asked in the filing that the case be dismissed. 

The case is being reviewed by retired Judge Joseph Gibson, an appointed special master. Retired Judge Thomas Pokorny was originally selected to serve as special master but was recused due to a conflict. The case will ultimately be turned over to the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Anderson, 37, died on Nov. 12, 2014 after struggling with Cleveland police officers who were trying to get her into a squad car so they could take her for a psychiatric evaluation.