What happened to Lauren Smith-Fields? Family sues Bridgeport, Connecticut police, alleging racism in death investigation

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – A grieving family continues to demand answers from authorities over the death of Lauren Smith-Fields, a 23-year-old black woman found dead after a date with a white man she met on the internet. a dating app.

Her family said they intend to sue city officials and police in Bridgeport, Connecticut, alleging that they failed to properly investigate the circumstances surrounding Smith-Fields’ mysterious death in December.

Brother Lakeem Jetter told ABC News: “I can’t believe my sister is gone. “Someone I loved, someone I protected, someone I’ve been with my whole life, I literally hugged her when she was born.”

According to the police report, authorities arrived at her apartment on December 12 to find “an adult black woman lying on her back, on the floor” and “do not appear to be breathing.”

The report adds that a man who claimed to have met Smith-Fields on a dating app was the one who called the police.

The man, who ABC News did not identify, said he had only known Smith-Fields for three days. He said he visited her apartment for the first time the night before her death and claimed that she had been ill.

The next morning, he said he noticed the 23-year-old’s nose was bleeding and she wasn’t breathing, so he called 911.

The family said the man was the last known person to see Smith-Fields alive. Police said they did not suspect foul play and did not designate him as a person of interest.

Darnell Crosland, the family’s attorney, said that a month later, no developments have been made public in the case.

‘We want all people of Bridgeport to be treated fairly and equally under the law. That didn’t happen here and anyone listening to this story needs to know that Lauren Smith-Fields was not given the treatment she should have been given,” said Crosland.

“We will sue them because they are violating our rights,” he added.

In the notice requesting the lawsuit, the family alleges that “the Bridgeport Police Department failed to deploy an appropriate CSI (crime scene investigation) team to collect physical evidence” and that “the city failed to intervene card.”

The family also said they believe race played a role in the investigation, arguing that police were “racially insensitive” to them, treating them “with disrespect” when they were grieving and finding look for answers. The police department says the investigation is ongoing and they are awaiting a report on the poison.

On Sunday, Smith-Fields’ 24th birthday, the family planned a march to celebrate her life and demand justice.

“We will march. We will chant her name. We will wish her a happy birthday. We will release balloons,” said Jetter.

The protest organizers also carry a powerful message that they want to share with the world.

“It’s not just about Lauren. It’s about every girl potentially going through something like this,” says Jetter. “We never want this to happen to anyone. We don’t want no one to feel this pain.”

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. What happened to Lauren Smith-Fields? Family sues Bridgeport, Connecticut police, alleging racism in death investigation

Dais Johnston

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