The ever-evolving story of the arrest and subsequent death of Sandra Bland has dominated the news cycle as of lately. Social and mass media has been rightly obsessed with the idea that a young african American woman could end up in police custody following a questionable (and likely unjustifiable) arrest, and then wind up hung from a partition in her jail cell.
While the nation has been consumed with Bland's story in Waller County, Texas, at nearly the exact same time, another black life was lost in a nearly identical manner. Do you know the name "Kindra Chapman"? Her name has been overlooked since her death in an Alabama jail cell, however let's evaluate some of the similarities between the two cases.
Kindra Darnell Chapman, 18 years young, was arrested in Homewood City on July 14th, one day after Bland was found dead in her jail cell. The Alabama suburb of Homewood is a relatively small town of about twenty-five thousand people, of which only 15% are African American. Similar to Bland, the arrest came under questionable circumstances. Her crime, allegedly stealing a cell phone. She was booked into Alabama's Homewood City Jail at 6:22 p.m. under First Degree robbery charges, which in Alabama is classified as a Class A felony punishable by a prison sentence of 10 to 99 years (for a stolen cell phone).
The last time she was seen alive according to official reports was at 6:30 p.m. At 7:50 p.m., one hour and twenty minutes later, Kindra was found unresponsive in her cell, hanging from a bed sheet. She was taken to a local hospital but was instantly declared dead. Officials declare the cause of death was self inflicted asphyxiation. Similar to Bland, Chapman's family claims that she had shown no signs of depression or anything that she would indicate she wold take her own life.
It seems like there is some type of sinister game being played in jailhouses around the south. Unlike Sandra Bland, no dash cam footage of Chapman's arrest has been released, no passer-by cell phone recordings have been unearthed, and no footage inside the jail cell from the moments of darkness between 6:30 and 7:50 have been made public.
Why was she left unattended and unsupervised? What happened in that hour and twenty minutes after her booking? There are definitely questions that have been left unanswered. Until these questions are answered it is vital that her name remains in the conversation. #SayHerName