Kindra Chapman found dead in a jail cell. Right after Sandra Bland’s death. pic.twitter.com/h1rPr1cCOF
— Yaphet Kotto (@Darius34092338) July 25, 2015
By Christina Coleman
Special to the NNPA via The Atlanta Daily World
The family of an 18-year-old found dead in an Alabama jail cell just a day after Sandra Bland died in police custody are convinced she committed suicide by hanging herself with a bed sheet, AL reports.
In the days since the incident, Kindra Chapman’s July 14 death has been likened to Bland’s — both were found dead in jail cells and both were believed to have committed suicide by hanging. In Bland’s case, allegations that the Texas jail where she was being held violated her rights has set social media ablaze with speculation that her death was not at her own hands. But in Chapman’s case, her family believes she did, indeed, commit suicide.
Chapman was booked into the Homewood City Jail at 6:22 p.m. that evening on a first-degree robbery charge. Sgt. Andrew Didcoct said Chapman robbed another person of a cell phone in the 1600 block of Lakeshore Court. Jailers last saw her alive at 6:30 p.m. She was found unresponsive at 7:50 p.m. Authorities said she used a bed sheet to hang herself.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support for Kindra. We are devastated that she is gone, and we miss her terribly,” according to a family statement released to AL.com this afternoon from the Birmingham law firm of Marsh, Rickard and Bryan. “We want the world to know what a wonderful soul she was. At the same time, we want the world to know that her death was a suicide. We have hired lawyers to investigate how this could have happened while she was in police custody.”
Brandon Falls, the Jefferson County District Attorney, announced in a statement that there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing in Chapman’s arrest, adding that authorities also believe her death is a “result of suicide.” Initially, Chapman’s mother, Kathy Brady, disputed the suicide explanation, saying police had something to do with her daughter’s death. But earlier this week, the family attorney said they have met with authorities and accepted the facts.
Attorneys for Chapman’s family said, “We continue to gather facts, not rumors. As of now, both the city and the district attorney are cooperating with our investigation.”
An investigation into Chapman’s death is still open.
“We have received the reports of the offense that led to her arrest, and determined that there was probable cause for her arrest and custody. We have received the reports from the officers on duty the evening of her death as well as the reports of the investigating detective. We have also received the statement of a witness who was in the custody of Homewood Police that same evening,” Falls said in a statement. “Most importantly, we have received the video surveillance recordings from several cameras in and around the Homewood City Jail.”
Authorities are awaiting a final autopsy report.