What You Need to Know:
How did Lauren Smith-Fields die and why won’t authorities do their due diligence? Lauren’s family has questions about the circumstances surrounding the 23-year-old Black woman’s death, but neither the Bridgeport, Connecticut police department nor the medical examiner’s department is providing any answers, more than a month later. Specifically, how did Lauren die? What is the story of the White man she met on a dating app who reported her death?
Lauren’s family, friends, and Tik Tok followers are pointing to what has become all too familiar: Missing or murdered Black people, especially women of color, don’t get the attention they deserve.
After not being able to reach the busy college student and businesswoman, Lauren’s mother, Shantell Fields, and one of Lauren’s brothers went to her apartment December 13, 2021. What Shantell found was a note on Lauren’s door, with a number to call. The number belonged to the landlord, who informed the woman’s family of her death.
In a call that should have been initiated by authorities, Shantell Fields phoned Bridgeport Police to confirm her daughter’s death. In an interview, the Fields family said a detective told them that Lauren passed away and that she met a man on the Bumble dating app. When Lauren’s brother, Lakeem Jetter, asked about the man, he said the detective’s response was disturbing.
“When I asked the officer about the guy, he said he was a very nice guy and they weren’t looking into him anymore,” said Jetter. “It was almost like he was sticking up for him and it seemed weird to hear that from a detective.”
As the family pursued more answers, they were stonewalled by Bridgeport police. The detective told Lauren’s brother to stop calling and hung up on him.
“The way they talked to me, the way they have talked to the family, how they treated my daughter, they treated her like she was nobody, like she was not important,” said Shantell Smith.
The family of Lauren Smith-Fields has taken matters into their own hands by hiring an attorney and ordering an independent autopsy.
The family’s lawyer has put the city of Bridgeport on notice, announcing plans to sue.
Why You Need to Know:
Have authorities not learned anything following the worldwide search for an investigation into the murder of White female Gabby Petito, and the subsequent stories of how people of color are ignored? Police departments are charged to serve and protect all citizens, not just the ones that look like them. The women and men, like Lauren Fields-Smith, are kicked to the curb and ignored. Sad to say, but thank God that more than 60 years later, the mothers of Ahmaud Arbery and Lauren Fields-Smith and countless others following in the footsteps of Mamie Till-Mobley, seeking answers and justice.