Target: Alabama State Senator Quinton Ross, State Representative Alvin Holmes, and U.S. Representative Terri Sewell
Goal: Investigate alleged police abuse and mishandling of the case of a teenager who died while in a jail.
Black 18-year-old Sheneque Proctor died in a jail cell while in police custody, and her family is demanding answers. The family alleges police misconduct and abuse toward the teenager, who suffered from asthma and was pepper sprayed upon arrest. The police have provided little information in an untimely manner, ever since the November 2 incident. The case has received little coverage from mainstream media, despite recent nationwide protests opposing police brutality against black men and women in the U.S.
Proctor’s mother, Scherita Proctor, said her daughter called her after the arrest and complained she was handled with unnecessary force by police and was having problems with her asthma. This has caused several news outlets to dub Proctor “the female Eric Garner.” Garner was a black man who died from an illegal chokehold by a New York police officer, sparking the popular social justice hashtag #ICantBreathe. Scherita Proctor said she feels her daughter’s death could have been prevented if police took necessary action for medical care during Sheneque’s time in the jail cell.
Although an autopsy report announced the reason for death as a drug overdose, the family is now demanding video footage from within the Bessemer, Al., jail that would reveal the events of the evening and whether or not police misconduct (proper decontamination from the pepper spray, detection and call for need of medical attention) played a role in Proctor’s death. The Guardian reported Nathaniel Rutledge, the Bessemer city police chief, said the decision to release the video would be made by the district attorney once an inquiry into the death had been completed by the state bureau of investigation.
By signing the petition below, you will help to demand further state and federal investigation into the death of Sheneque Proctor and assist in bringing justice to her and her family.
Dear State Senator Ross, State Representative Holmes, and U.S. Representative Sewell,
The untimely and improper handling of the facts surrounding the death of 18-year-old Sheneque Proctor while in Bessemer police custody has been an injustice to the victim and her family. The Proctors’ questions have gone unanswered, and in light of recent events this unnecessary death needs to be seriously investigated for potential misconduct in order to bring justice to the Proctor family.
Video evidence from the evening of the incident will help to reveal whether or not police misconduct was involved in the death of Proctor through improper decontamination from pepper spray, lack of detection for need of medical attention, and lack of proper observation while the victim was in police custody.
I am urging you to take action in a further state and federal investigation into this death in order to demonstrate that black female lives matter and to result in the release of this video evidence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sheneque Proctor via Facebook