I just saw an interesting short film that kind of brings home the "black lives matter" debate that has been taking place in this country. (Shout out to HLN for putting on the young brother that produced the film tonight.)
Everyone (black and white) should watch it, and they should think long and hard about their own thoughts on race after they do.
So speaking of black lives, there was an incident in an Alabama jail recently that I would like to bring to everyone's attention.
"BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The death of an 18-year-old woman while in custody in the city of Bessemer, outside Birmingham, has sparked controversy among residents of this largely African American community. Many, including the NAACP, are asking how she died and who was responsible.
County and city authorities aren’t talking, but the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is looking into the Nov. 2 death of Sheneque Proctor in the Bessemer City Jail, according to SBI spokeswoman Robyn Bryan.
Ms. Proctor, who lived in neighboring Brighton, was at a Bessemer hotel with friends when she was arrested on Saturday night, Nov. 1. Her aunt, Tracy Rodda, said that officers told Proctor she was being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Early the next morning, she was found dead in her cell, according to Rodda, who said her niece had complained of problems with asthma.
Bessemer officers declined to give details when a reporter representing Weld asked them how Sheneque Proctor died and what she was charged with. The reporter asked to see a copy of the arrest report but was denied.
Bessemer City Attorney Shan Paden said, “I know the case. I know we had a death in the jail. Erring on a conservative side, not to protect the city but to protect the rights of an 18-year-old, the city of Bessemer will not disclose any information.”
Proctor’s mother, Scherita Proctor, reached at her home, said, “We don’t know what happened. I’ve heard lots of things. I don’t want to speculate. We’re waiting on a death certificate.”
Proctor graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in May. Her mother described her as “sweet and loving.” Sheneque leaves behind a 5-month-old son, Zamaruien Blevins.
Besides the controversy arising from the death of an 18-year-old mother, there are questions being raised about how exactly Proctor was treated. Relatives indicated that Sheneque complained of how officers had dealt with her.
“She said three officers were handling her really rough,” said Rodda, who added witnesses have claimed as many as six Bessemer officers were involved with Sheneque’s arrest.
Later calls to Scherita Proctor to confirm Rodda’s account were not returned.
Rodda said that on the night of her arrest Sheneque Proctor had called her mother, who did not have the bail money. Rodda said she wishes she had gotten the call. “Maybe we could have come up with $235 [for bail].”
On the morning of Saturday, Nov. 2, two detectives went to the Brighton home of Scherita Proctor and informed her of her daughter’s death, according to Rodda." [Source]
Now let me say for the record that I don't know the race of the police officers who arrested Ms. Proctor, or that of the jailers who were charged with watching her. It doesn't matter.
The fact that an 18 year old can go to jail for disorderly conduct and end up dead the very next morning is troubling. The fact that the authorities are being so tight lipped about the entire incident is scary.