Family Accuses Police of being 'Racially Insensitive' in Lauren Smith-Fields Investigation

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Screenshot:  Ned Gerard/Hearts Connecticut Media (Other)
Screenshot: Ned Gerard/Hearts Connecticut Media (Other)

23-year-old Lauren Smith-Fields was found dead in her apartment in Connecticut after a date with a white man she met on a dating app. According to NBC, her family plans to sue the city of Bridgeport, Ct. claiming the police were ‘racially insensitive’ during the investigation of her death.

The family’s attorney Darnell Crossland said the man has not been charged or suspected as a person of interest, according to NBC. Crosland also filed a claim accusing the police of not doing a thorough investigation, beginning with the search of her apartment. The notice also claims that members of the police department involved in the investigation had violated the Smith-Fields rights under the 1983 Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.

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From NBC:

“The Police Department has been racially insensitive to this family and has treated this family with no respect and has violated their civil rights,” the notice says. “They have failed to investigate this matter, and they refuse to view the last person with Lauren Smith-Fields before she died as a person of interest. This behavior is unacceptable.”

Crosland also alleges that police did not initially conduct a thorough search of the apartment. Two weeks after her death, at the urging of her family, Crosland said, police visited the apartment and collected a condom with semen in it from the bathroom and a pill. He said police told the family the condom and pill were sent to a lab for analysis. Crosland also alleges that the family was told by the first detective assigned to the case to stop calling to inquire about the investigation.

According to the incident report, the man arrived at Smith-Fields apartment the evening of Dec. 11. He told the police they took tequila shots and drank more with mixers leading Smith-Fields to go to the bathroom and throw up. The man told the police she went outside for a brief moment to meet her brother who was dropping something off and then went straight for the bathroom when she came back inside. After 10 to 15 minutes, the two began watching a movie and Smith-Fields fell asleep.

From NBC:

He said that Smith-Fields fell asleep on the couch and that he carried her to her bedroom, laid her on her bed and that he laid down beside her and fell asleep, the incident report states

He told police he woke up at approximately 3 a.m. to use the bathroom and that she was snoring. He said he woke up again at 6:30 a.m. and Smith-Fields was on her right side and blood was coming out of her right nostril onto the bed and she was not breathing, the incident report says. He told police that was when he called 911. Smith-Fields was pronounced dead at 6:49 a.m., according to the incident report, which also states that she had been dead “at least an hour or more.”

Crosland said the family were notified of Smith-Fields death after a couple days by her landlord who helped them contact the police. Why did the police not immediately notify the family if the key witness said he called 911 the night of the incident? NBC reported the cause of death has not been determined but the family is waiting for independent autopsy results.

This isn’t the first case where a Black woman dies or goes missing mysteriously while on a date. We rarely get to know the woman’s side of the story because they perish before even getting to explain. Then, the only point of view left is that of the man they were with, who might have been the culprit.

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