Two Police Detectives in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Suspended for Mishandling Cases of Two Black Women Who Died on the Same Day Under Mysterious Circumstances

A pair of Bridgeport detectives involved in probing the Dec. 12 deaths of two Black women have been suspended over their handling of the cases, the city’s mayor announced Sunday.

“I want you to know that I am extremely disappointed with the leadership of the Bridgeport Police Department and find actions taken up to this point unacceptable,” Mayor Joe Ganim wrote in a statement.

Ganim said he had ordered the Bridgeport Police Department’s leadership to place both Det. Angel Llanos and Det. Kevin Cronin on administrative leave. Both officers would remain suspended until an internal investigation over “lack of sensitivity to the public and failure to follow police policy” had been concluded, the mayor added.

The conduct of the Bridgeport police has been under scrutiny since both the families of Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls began demanding answers in the wake of their deaths. Both women were found dead on the same day, and neither family was informed by police. Both families have alleged authorities haven’t taken the cases seriously, treating them with racialized insensitivity.

Rawls, 53, died on Dec. 12 after going over to a man’s house who lived near her in Bridgeport, her family told NBC News earlier this week.

“Nobody ever notified us that she died,” Dorothy Rawls Washington, Rawls’ sister, told NBC News. “We had to do our own investigation and find out where she was.”

Washington said family members walked to the man’s house on Dec. 14 after days of unsuccessfully attempting to contact Rawls. The man told them that he hadn’t been able to wake Rawls up and that she had died.

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SOURCE: The Daily Beast, AJ McDougall