The Connecticut chief medical examiner revealed Lauren Smith-Fields’ cause of death on Monday (Jan. 24), the Black woman who was found dead after going on a Bumble date with a white man. According to the medical examiner’s office, the 23-year-old died of “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol” and her death was ruled an “accident.”
However, in a legal notice filed on Friday (Jan. 21) as part of a planned lawsuit, Smith-Fields’ family accused the police department of failing to properly investigate her death. In the filing, the woman’s family also said the Bridgeport Police Department violated their civil rights.
“Lauren Smith-Fields wasn’t given the treatment that she should have been given,” Darnell Crosland, a lawyer representing the family, told “Good Moring America.”
As reported by REVOLT, Bridgeport police found Smith-Fields lying on her back on the floor of her apartment just after 6:30 a.m. local time on Dec. 12. The man who called 911, 37-year-old Matthew LaFountain, said he met Smith-Fields on the Bumble dating app three days prior and this was the first time they went out together.
LaFountain claimed they took tequila shots together before Smith-Fields started feeling ill, at which point she went to the bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes. Later, the man said they continued drinking, played a few games and ate some food before falling asleep at her apartment.
The next morning, LaFountain said he awoke to find her not breathing and with blood coming out of her nose. The police report noted that LaFountain appeared “frantic” and “visibly shaken” when officers arrived.
Smith-Fields’ family claims the Bridgeport police “failed to implement the proper crime scene investigation team to collect physical evidence” and “refuse to view the last person to see Smith-Fields before she died as a person of interest.”
“The police department has been racially insensitive to this family and has treated this family with no respect and has violated their civil rights,” the filing added.
“The way they handled her investigation was literally disgraceful, disgusting, horrible. It was not even human,” Lakeem Jetter, Smith-Fields’ brother, told “Good Morning America.”
Over the weekend, Smith-Fields’ family and hundreds of supporters marched through the city to commemorate what would have been her 24th birthday and demand justice.
In a statement, the city of Bridgeport claimed that the police department “takes these concerns very seriously” and said the “command staff of the detective bureau is reviewing the handling of this case to ensure that best practices were and are being followed.”