Lengthening the list of sudden and questionable deaths of black suspects in the hands of police custody, Kindra Chapman comes to surface.
According to Business Insider, Alabama police authorities claim to have found the 18-year-old “unresponsive” only an hour after she was booked into the Homewood police department jail cell on a first-degree robbery charge for an alleged cellphone theft. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead as authorities believed the death to be caused by asphyxiation, claiming that she hung herself with a bed sheet. However, authorities did not notify her mother, Kathy Brady, of the death for over an hour after she was discovered.
Several protestors met the sketchy details with defiance, especially considering Brady’s email to AL.com where she stated that she believes police killed her daughter. Protests flared in front of the Homewood jailhouse on Tuesday (July 21) where Chapman died, resulting in six arrests.
What police are reporting in Chapman’s fatality fall disturbingly close to Sandra Bland’s case, in which authorities claimed that the Chicago woman killed herself in police custody as well. Both were reportedly found hanging in their prison cells, and the details of the alleged suicides in the two cases were delayed by jail staff and authorities. The recent video of Bland’s death also challenged the allegations of her death provided by the police.
Due to the similar suspicion in Chapman’s case, organizers have created a petition on Change.org for the teen. “We call for full disclosure and a full accounting of all of the interactions between Kindra Darnell Chapman and the Homewood Police Department,” the description of the petition reads. “This issue is brought up because of the scant information that has been released on such a serious matter through the media. We feel there are consistent and persistent patterns of police mistreatment in the state of Alabama that are not always addressed particularly as it pertains to Black Women.”
Homewood police have released a statement including that the reports, details, jail footage and statements regarding Chapman’s death are currently being sent to and reviewed by Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for review.
More details will be released as it becomes available.