Family plans to sue Bridgeport over police probe into death of Lauren Smith-Fields
The family of Lauren Smith-Fields announced plans for legal action against the City of Bridgeport over the way police have handled its investigation into her death.
“We’re filing a lawsuit here in Bridgeport to compel them to process this case, to protect this family and to give them the equal rights they deserve under the Connecticut Constitution” says family attorney Darnell Crosland.
The announcement comes more than a month after the 23-year-old was found dead in her apartment on Plymouth Street on the Upper East Side of Bridgeport.
Family attorney Darnell Crosland says the lawsuit will be filed Monday in order to get the city to “investigate the case properly and protect the interests of Lauren’s family.”
Police say Smith-Fields’ body was found two weeks before Christmas after going out with an “older white male” she met on the dating site Bumble.
According to the timeline created by Crosland’s investigator, Smith-Fields began to feel ill on Saturday, Dec. 11. The older man "laid with her fully clothed with no intercourse, even though a used condom was found by the family in the trash." Crosland says the next day, the man found Smith-Fields “bleeding from her nose and mouth, called 911 and Lauren was pronounced dead.”
Smith-Field’s family have criticized the way the police have handled the man’s possible role in her death, saying he should have been detained for questioning. They asked police why he was not detained and say they were told, “There is nothing to investigate. He seems like a nice guy.”
Smith-Fields’ mother, Shantell Fields, says they felt they were dealt with “dismissively” and told to stop calling.
“How they spoke to us, the way they treated us, hanging up the phone and telling us to stop calling them,” says Fields. “It’s disgusting.”
The family says there will be a peaceful march on Smith-Fields behalf on Saturday, Jan. 22.
“Life has changed for our family,” says Fields. “It will never be the same, ever again.