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- The families of Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Rawls, who died on December 12, are seeking answers.
- Both families have criticized the Bridgeport Police Department’s handling of the cases.
- The mayor said Sunday he has suspended two officers pending an internal investigation.
Two detectives in Bridgeport, Connecticut, were suspended over their handling of the investigations into the deaths of Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Rawls, the mayor’s office said in a statement on Sunday.
“I want you to know that I am extremely disappointed with the leadership of the Bridgeport Police Department and find actions taken up to this point unacceptable,” Mayor Joseph Ganim said, adding that the two officers are the subject of an internal investigation “for lack of sensitivity to the public and failure to follow police policy” on the two cases.
He said the detectives would immediately be put on leave until the investigation into their actions and the disciplinary case have been completed.
“The Bridgeport Police Department has high standards for officer sensitivity especially in matters involving the death of a family member. It is an unacceptable failure if policies were not followed,” Ganim said.
The suspensions come after the families of Smith-Fields and Rawls, both Black women, said the Bridgeport Police Department was not forthcoming with information or properly investigating their deaths.
Smith-Fields, who was 23, was found dead in her apartment on December 12 after a Bumble date with a person her family described as an “older white man.” The man, who called in her death to police, has not been charged and is not a person of interest in her death. Fields’ family told multiple outlets police said he “was a nice guy.”
The family has criticized the police as being dismissive and insensitive. Bridgeport Police announced Tuesday it was launching a criminal investigation into Smith-Fields’ death after the medical examiner ruled it an accident and said she died due to “an overdose of fentanyl combined with prescription medication and alcohol.”
Her family told Insider’s Taylor Ardrey they thought the investigation was “just something to shut us up.”
Rawls, who was 53, died the same day as Smith-Fields. Her family told NBC News the police did not contact them about her death and that they had to find out on their own two days later. They told the outlet Rawls was going to a man’s house the day before she died.
Read the original article on Insider
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