Within the last months, the family of Lauren Smith-Fields has shifted from celebrating the holidays to mourning a tragedy.
Smith-Fields was known to most in the greater Bridgeport, Connecticut area as a former track star at Stamford High School. After graduation, Smith-Fields enrolled at Norwalk Community College and began studying cosmetology. To keep up with the increasing cost of higher education, News 12 Westchester reports that Smith-Fields ran a side business. Just days before Smith-Fields would take a break from her studies and business, she was found unresponsive in her Bridgeport apartment on December 12.
In the aftermath of Smith-Fields’ death, authorities, medical examiners and city officials declined to publicly share sensitive details. News 12 Westchester shared that the 23-year-old college student had met “older white man” on Bumble and it was he who alerted police to her death. However, Smith-Fields’ family has accused authorities of not investigating the man who she met on Bumble.
“[The police] made it seem like the guy was a nice guy [and] there was nothing to investigate,” Smith-Fields’ brother, Lakeem Jetter told News 12 Westchester in December.
Smith-Fields’ father, Everrett, has also accused local police of being “insensitive” and ignoring his family.
“The only contact that we have had was from a very insensitive, condescending, and arrogant detective,” he said.
More than a month after Smith-Fields’ death, there have been no major developments regarding the case. The Smith-Fields’ family has also felt neglected by local authorities within the last few weeks. As a result, they have filed a lawsuit against the city of Bridgeport.
“We’re suing the city of Bridgeport for failure to prosecute and failure to protect this family under the 14th Amendment,” family attorney Darnell Crosland told Rolling Stone.
“It’s happening all too often with Black girls missing across this world, across this country, and no one says anything.”