LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Family members of a Louisville woman who died in police custody in Jackson County, Indiana, have hired the legal team that represented Breonna Taylor’s family. Attorneys handling the Ta’neasha Chappell family case include civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Louisville area attorneys Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker.
Chappell was 23 when she died on July 16 at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.
Her family said they told them during a phone call that they believed she was going to be killed while being held at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown, Indiana, where she was. detained for theft and driving police in pursuit of I-65. . In other conversations, his family said Chappell looked healthy and in good spirits, which is why they were shocked and devastated by his sudden death.
Correctional officers checked Chappell’s temperature every 15 minutes because she had a high fever and was vomiting, according to Baker. Correctional officers did not take the 23-year-old to hospital until she was found unconscious.
Baker said Chapell’s family didn’t know she died at Schneck Medical Center until three hours later.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office requested an autopsy from Indiana State Police, which was performed on Sunday. An FAI spokesperson said the results would likely not be released for a few days or even weeks. Baker said his team had asked an independent medical examiner to perform another autopsy.
Chappell’s family appeared with Baker to discuss the case on Thursday.
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“The conditions we describe in prison are what we call cruel and unusual punishment,” Baker said.
Almost a week after Chappell’s death, the family is still devastated by the unexpected loss.
“If Ta’Neasha, you could hear me, I’m trying, I’m sorry,” said Ronesha Murrell, Chappell’s sister.
Murrell apologized and agonized over not being able to save his sister’s life, but said it was now his mission to seek justice.
According to Chappell’s family, said at one point in prison, she was physically assaulted and faced with racism.
“I want answers,” Murrell said. “She told me if anything happened to get to the bottom of it. Our last conversation, she just put on a big front. She didn’t want us to know everything she was going through, but at first she called so much and said she had to get out of there.
Baker said investigators from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office told the Chappell family that she ultimately died of something related to the chemicals. However, Baker said Chappell had obvious bruises and abuse on his face.
“There are cameras in the prison,” she said. “We’ve taken steps to make sure the Jackson County Jail is preserved in terms of surveillance, complaints, grievances, things like that.”
Since taking charge of the case, Baker said she and her team have interviewed former Jackson County Jail inmates, all of whom have only said negative things about the staff and conditions. in which they are kept locked up.
Chappell’s family said they plan to lay criminal charges if the evidence calls for it.
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