A young African American woman from Brighton, Alabama recently died in police custody. Police have still refused to provide any reasonable explanation for the cause behind her death.
We were among the first and only news sites to report on the death of Sheneque Proctor. But we honestly expected mainstream coverage of the tragic death of this 18-year-old woman to follow, especially given how widely our report on her death circulated.
We are used to being among the first to cover cases of police brutality and injustices, only to see the mainstream, corporate media catch on weeks or sometimes months later. But this time something is different. Unlike our early coverage of John Crawford, or Tamir Rice, the story of Sheneque Proctor continues to be ignored by the mainstream media, in spite of the numerous similarities to high profile cases like that of Eric Garner.
A new petition has begun circulating in response to Proctor’s death at the hands of police officers. Many have begun referring to Proctor as the “female Eric Garner,” not to diminish her unique live, personality and death, but instead to highlight how the media is ignoring the death of an African American woman with asthma in police custody.
The petition demands a federal and state investigation into the death of the 18-year-old, who died in the Bessemer City Jail after she was arrested on November 1st. She was at a Bessemer hotel at a party with friends when police arrived and arrested her for “disorderly conduct,” according to her aunt, Tracy Rodda.
Early the next morning, Proctor was found dead in her jail cell, after having complained of problems with asthma which police apparently refused to take seriously.
Bessemer City Attorney Shan Paden commented, “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.”