Mayor Joe Ganim Suspended Detective Angel Llanos, Kevin Cronin
The mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut has suspended two police detectives for the way they handled the investigation into the deaths of two local black women.
Mayor Joe Ganim announced on Sunday that he has a Deputy Head of Department James Baraja set detective Angel Llanos and Kevin Cronin on administrative leave. Baraja is running for Acting Sheriff Rebecca Garcia.
However, administrative leave appears to be a moot point for Llanos, as he retired on Friday. In any case, the matter is pending the results of an internal investigation into how police investigated the death of Lauren Smith-Fields23 and Brenda Lee Rawls53.
Both families said that the police had tracked them down and that the family had to find out through others that the women were dead. Police are not alleging any criminal wrongdoing in these cases. And even after the suspension, the mother of one of the women voiced skepticism about the mayor’s sincerity.
Smith-Fields’s brother Lakeem Jetter argued that the police mishandled the investigation and that they did it because Lauren was Black and the man who found her dead was white.
“I feel like because he’s a white guy and she’s a Black girl, they just throw it under the rug,” he said, according to NBC New York.
Bridgeport PD does NOT properly investigate the deaths of Black women! Lauren Smith-Fields & Brenda Rawls were found dead on the same day, but police never informed the family of their passing and neither scene of their death was processed to make a statement. proof! https://t.co/d9fZFIHnhV
– Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 28, 2022
He said that Cronin snuck up on his family during the investigation. They didn’t even know he was kicked off the case until later when another detective showed up unannounced to Smith-Fields’ apartment. He said the officers leaving her residence was a mess.
“There was a big circle of blood, in the middle of the bed, there were two drinks or whatever, next to a bottle,” says Jetter. “They took nothing. We saw condoms, lubricants, other things in there. They took none of these. “
Two Connecticut police detectives have been placed on administrative leave after they handled the investigations into the deaths of two Black women, Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls https://t.co/wXk0mWfQ3l
– philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 31, 2022
Rawls was also Black, and like Smith-Fields, she was apparently found dead by a male acquaintance on December 12.
“No one informed us that she was dead,” said Rawls .’s sister Dorothy Rawls Washington said, according to NBC News. “We had to investigate on our own and find out where she was.”
Brenda died on December 12. After two days had passed, they began to realize something was wrong, and they found the man she had been with. At her words, he said he couldn’t wake her up on the 12th and that she died.
“He gave me the clothes she was wearing and her shoes. I don’t understand why leave that”, sister Angela Rawls Martin speak.
Her cause of death is still under investigation.
Smith-Fields died from a mixture of fentaynl, the antihistamine promethazine, the antihistamine hydroxyzine and alcohol, the medical examiner said. Authorities said it was being treated as an accident, although her family insists that the man she met on dating app Bumble has not contacted them about what happened.
“Anyone in general that’s interested and they’re the last one there, and you know something bad happened, you get in touch,” Smith-Fields’ brother said. Tavar Gray-Smithbased on NBC New York. “I am so sorry for the loss of your sister, your daughter. I was the last one to go with her and I want you to know what happened.”
Law & Crime did not identify the man in question because he has not been charged. The police reported finding him obviously shaken by death.
Now, the Smith-Fields and Rawls families are linked through the same attorney. Lawyer Darnell Crosland told the city he plans to file a lawsuit claiming negligence in the investigations, according to WABC. Each family will seek $30 million.
Ganim had harsh words for Llanos and Cronin, but Smith-Fields’ mother did not buy. The mayor said detectives face an internal investigation for their “lack of public sensitivity and failure to follow police policy in handling these two matters.”
Lauren’s mother Shantell School insists the mayor made this decision only under duress, not out of conviction.
“From the beginning he had to stand in and say something, but he didn’t get up until the march, we kept talking and talking, and in the media, ‘ she said, according to WABC. “I guess he had to do something to save face.”
[Screenshot via Joe Ganim]
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https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/mayor-said-he-got-two-detectives-suspended-after-alleged-lack-of-sensitivity-investigating-deaths-of-black-women/ Mayor Joe Ganim Suspended Detective Angel Llanos, Kevin Cronin