/  07.19.2021

One family is looking for answers after their daughter died in police custody.

According to a report Louisville, Ky.’s WDRB published yesterday (July 18), Ta’Neasha Chappell died after being held in Jackson County Jail in Brownstown, Ind. and being transferred to Schneck Memorial Hospital last Friday. She was 23. At this point, there’s no word on what led to her hospitalization and subsequent death.

Chappell had been in the jail since being arrested on shoplifting charges on May 26. In the wake of her death, Chappell’s family is searching for justice. “It is unsettling, we want justice, we want answers – we have a lot of questions and no answers,” says Chappell’s sister Ronesha Murrell, who remembers her sense of humor and big personality.

“My mom hasn’t even been able to verify the body,” Murrell adds in another part of the report. “Why has not she been able to verify the body?” she asks. “They won’t give us any answers.”

Donte Chappell, Chappell’s father, thinks race could have played a role involved in her death, and he suspects that there’s something out of the ordinary at work. “I think there is some foul play involved in it because she was the only Black girl in that jail,” he says.

Chappell’s mother, Lavita McCain says Chappell called them to say that something was wrong. “She called numerous times — over and over saying that ‘they are going to kill me. Get me out of here,’” says McCain, who expresses regret over not being able to pay Chappell’s $4,007 bond.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has contacted Indiana State Police to begin an investigation into Chappell’s death.

Chappell’s family will continue searching for justice while reflecting on the gravity of their loss. “So many people in Louisville knew who she was. They knew her if not by Ta’Neasha, they knew her by Big Joint, B Jizzle, Bug — she has a daughter… she’s 10,” says Murrell. “She was just so much life.”


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