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Officials will not release letter from Bridgeport chief on Black women's deaths

Bridgeport Police Department
Bridgeport Police Department

Officials will keep private a letter from Bridgeport’s acting police chief on the deaths of two Black women. The letter responded to criticism of the department’s handling of the deaths.

Both women died on December 12. Their families said police didn’t adequately notify them. Lauren Smith-Fields was pronounced dead after a man she met on a dating app said he found her unresponsive. Her family said police left a note on her door with a number for them to call.

Brenda Lee Rawls was also found in her house on the same day. Her family members also say they were not notified of her death in a timely manner.

Acting chief Rebeca Garcia wrote the city’s police commission a four-page letter on her department’s response. But the commission told Hearst Connecticut Media the letter contains sensitive material, and will be released if and when appropriate.