Eugene Community Gathers for Keenan Anderson

Community members gathered under the gazebo at the Owen Rose Garden on the evening of Jan. 15 for a candlelight vigil for Keenan Anderson in solidarity with other organized vigils across the country. 

Anderson—a Black high school teacher from Washington D.C. and cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors—was visiting his family in Los Angeles when, on Jan. 3, was involved in a traffic incident, had flagged-down help, and was subsequently tased several times by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department. He passed away several hours later of cardiac arrest. 

A dozen or so candles, some on cups, sit on the cement ground. There is a rose etched into the cement underneath them.
The Eugene community placed candles on the ground under the gazebo at the Owen Rose Garden on January 15, 2022. [James Croxton // Double Sided Media]

The group of about 20 people gathered under the unusually dark gazebo—the lights have been on during past vigils—at 8:30 p.m., putting up large prints of Anderson on a couple of the posts. In the middle, a few lit candles were placed on the cement ground. 

  • A large photograph of Anderson wearing a white dress shirt and dark grey tie. He's looking outside the frame of the shot and appears to be sitting at a table in a restaurant.
  • A large printout of the black, white, and grey flyer that was used as a template nationwide. This one is for the Eugene vigil, specifically. It says "Candle Light Vigil for #KeenanAnderson" "In the first 11 days of 2023 LAPD has already murdered 3 individuals" "rose garden gazebo 8:30 pm eugene, or (occupied kalapuya territory)" ""Keenan Anderson was a 31 year old teacher who was tased 7 times while being pinned to the ground by LAPD, he died soon after of Cardiac Arrest."

About a half hour later, a brief speech was heard. After mentioning the other vigils happening nationwide including in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York City, the speaker described the body-worn camera documented killing of Anderson. 

Anderson’s name was read aloud along with Oscar Leon Sanchez and Takar Smith, the two other men of color killed by LAPD in the first two weeks of 2023, followed by a moment of silence. An open discussion ensued about police brutality statistics, the use of tasers, and memories of Charlie Landeros while the strong scent of melting candle wax wafted through the air. 

Around 9:45 p.m., after the group’s chants of “ACAB” had pierced the silent and cold air, the vigil ended and people began to leave the rose garden. 

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1 Response

  1. January 21, 2023

    […] the second time this year, the Eugene community came together for a candlelight vigil following the killing of yet another […]

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