This is a sad and tragic story that, once again, indicates two things: Cops ain’t s** and Black women are still unprotected.
On December 12, 23-year-old Lauren Smith-Fields was found unconscious in her Bridgeport, Connecticut, apartment after she had been on a date with an older white man she met on the Bumble online dating app. The man, who has yet to be identified, called the police to report Smith-Field’s condition, but sadly, she later died days before Christmas.
According to News 12 Westchester, Smith-Fields’ brother, Lakeem Jetter, was told by Bridgeport police that no foul play was suspected in his sister’s death and that the man she was with was a “nice guy” who didn’t need to be questioned.
Imagine being told by an officer of the law that the last person who was with your deceased sibling didn’t need to be investigated or even properly interviewed because the guy, who the cops don’t know from any other random person on the street, seemed to be nice enough that questioning wasn’t necessary.
Even if it turns out the man wasn’t responsible for Smith-Fields’ death, how is a Black family not supposed to smell the stench of white privilege in the air as well as the foul odor of a cop that doesn’t care about the life of a Black woman?
“Without a doubt, we know that my daughter was not a drug user, and I had a second autopsy myself paid out of pocket because we felt so uncomfortable with the way it was handled,” Smith-Fields’ father told News 12. He also said the only contact with investigators the family has had has been with a “very insensitive, condescending and arrogant detective.”
Councilwoman Maria Pereira said she reviewed a long email sent by Smith-Fields’ mother to the Bridgeport Police Department and expressed shock and concern that the email was never responded to.
“She sent a really well-written email—it was lengthy, it was extensive, it was very detailed – and I was shocked when she told me just yesterday she had not even received a response,” Pereira said.
Of course, the city of Bridgeport released an obligatory statement claiming the case is being taken seriously. The statement doesn’t mention cops who would apparently rather buy the white man who Smith-Fields was last with a beer rather than interrogate him about her death.
“The Bridgeport Police Department takes these concerns very seriously,” the statement read. “The Command Staff of the Detective Bureau is reviewing the handling of this case to ensure that best practices were and are being followed. It is imperative to note that the death of Lauren Smith-Fields remains an ongoing investigation. Our department extends its deepest condolences to the family of Lauren.”
So far, the Bridgeport medical examiner has not revealed the cause of Smith-Fields’ death.
R.I.P. Lauren Smith-Fields.