Louisville Woman Who Died In Police Custody Found With Bruises On Her Face, Attorneys Say
Ta'Neasha Chappell died in a jail in Brownstown, Indiana, days after telling her mother she feared she would die there.
July 23, 2021 at 3:12 pm
A Louisville woman died while in custody at an Indiana jail and attorneys for her family say she had bruises on her face, caught a fever and vomited moments before her death, WDRB reports.
Ta'Neasha Chappell died in the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown, Indiana, on July 16. According to the Courier Journal, she was being held for an alleged theft that led to a high-speed chase.
In a statement, attorneys Sam Aguiar, Lonita Baker and Ben Crump, who've all also represented Breonna Taylor's family, revealed that Chappell had a swollen and bruised face. Additionally, lawyers claim that the authorities in the jail ignored Chappell’s medical needs as she vomited consistently and had a rising fever before she died.
Baker, a local attorney, says racism and the condition of the jail could be described as being ripe "cruel and unusual punishment," the Courier Journal reported.
"She went in a young, 23-year-old mother, healthy, and she should have returned to her family that same way,” Baker said.
Today we want to send our condolences to Ta'Neasha Chappell. She died in POLICE CUSTODY while being transported to another prison. We are sending love to her daughter and other family members. #TaNeashaChappell#protectblackwomen
— Sisters Unchained (@SistersUnchaind) July 20, 2021
According to a release from the Indiana State Police, Chappell died shortly after being transported to the Schneck Medical Center. Awaiting an autopsy, the authorities have not yet announced the cause of her death.
“I want the truth to be heard and told," Chappell's sister, Ronesha Murrell, told WDRB in an interview. "We are owed that. My sister was in their care. Regardless as an inmate, they had a duty to protect her still."
Murrell says that although the family has been in communication with the state police, they have received "very little details” about her sister’s death.
"We're just taking it day by day," Murrell told The Courier Journal. "We want justice."
While in jail, Chappell’s mother, Lavita McClain, said her daughter feared for her life.
“She called every day telling us to get her out of there,” McClain told Wave 3 News. "Mama they’re going to kill me in here, they’re going to kill me in here,’ and she would always say ‘get me out of here if anything happens to me just know that they did it.’”
Chappell's death is still under investigation by Indiana State Police and the family's legal team is seeking an independent medical examination.
A GoFundMe has been started to help pay for Chappell's funeral expenses and to support her daughter.