Lauren Smith-Fields’s life was more than a number or statistic. Still, she’s unable to see what would’ve been her 26th birthday today. After going on a date, Smith-Fields was later found unresponsive in her apartment, and her family received little to no reassurance about helping the family move forward after her untimely death.
With constant back and forth between the Smith-Fields family and the Bridgeport police department, social media seemed like the only outlet where they could voice concerns about the tragic situation their family dealt with, including the launch of a GoFundMe.
“In the beginning of this nightmare, our family was extremely mistreated by The Bridgeport Police Department who, as we stated, initially declined to investigate Lauren’s untimely death,” the description reads. “Although BPD has now decided to begin to conduct an investigation, our family would like to conduct one of our own! We are hoping an investigator of our own can shed light on this tragic event and give us the answers we need to move forward and heal as a family.”
As the fight continues, the recent development in the Smith-Fields case revealed that the mother of Lauren Smith-Fields is suing the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, alleging her daughter was denied a detailed investigation. “The city still has a lot of explaining to do. They’ve come in the room but haven’t come to the table, so they need to compensate this family for all the damage they’ve gone through,” says the family attorney, Darnell D. Crosland.
The family is still looking for answers regarding the Bridgeport Police Department analyzing the case and was not notified about her death at a timely pace. “Just to know that I will never see her again, I will never touch her again, I will never be able to tell her I love her, it’s just so hard,” says Shantell Fields.
Through protests and advocacy, the family continues to keep their daughter’s name alive and is still on the road to gaining justice for her death. “Even to this day, the police have failed to properly update Lauren’s family. The family claims this is because the investigation was a sham, and Bridgeport Police never properly investigated her death,” the suit says.
With the amount of young Black girls dying and receiving little to no media attention, the Lauren Smith-Fields case continues to highlight the intersectionality between race and gender in a system that does not prioritize these unfortunate deaths.
About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is the lead writer for Essence GU, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she’s garnered devoted readers and specializes in the Zillennial point of view.