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Two grieving Bridgeport families want answers from the city’s acting chief

Bridgeport Police Department
Bridgeport Police Department
Bridgeport Police Department

The families of two dead Black women confronted Bridgeport’s acting police chief over what they see as mishandling of their cases.

Both women died on December 12. Their families said police didn’t adequately notify them of their deaths. Some speakers told acting chief Rebecca Garcia to step down from her position at a police commission meeting held remotely this week.

Shantell Fields is the mother of Lauren Smith-Fields, one of the two women.

“Bridgeport is not doing their job,” said Shantell Fields, mother of Lauren Smith-Fields. “Bridgeport Police Department, nothing at all. They do not care about my daughter, they did not care to even knock on my door to let me know my daughter passed away.”

Garcia didn’t respond to the comments during the meeting. The city has put two detectives on administrative leave, and Mayor Joe Ganim said he’s changing the way police handle death notifications.

Some city council members and the city’s NAACP have called for a federal investigation.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.