Wednesday, May 25, 2016

While You Were Sleeping: Symone Marshall Arrest And Death

I heard about this story last week and have been waiting for more details to emerge before writing about it. That is what I do sometimes. I pretend that I am an actual writer and wait for results and more information before slapping on a social justice warrior hat and protesting wrong doings. This is about a 22 year old mother that died while in police custody. She happens to be Black which made people immediately think of Sandra Bland before getting any more details about it. “Don't need details. They're both Black!” I need details. I'm that guy which is why my hair used to fall out from stress. There is always more in my way of thinking.

Symone Marshall moved to Texas from Detroit a few months ago. She and a friend, Amanda Arnold, got into an accident saying they were run off the road causing their car to flip three times. Police arrived and they found cocaine in the vehicle and say that Marshall gave them a fake name. They both refused medical attention and showed no obvious signs of being injured. They were both arrested for the drug charge with Marshall having false identification added. Amanda was released the next day after posting bond but Marshall couldn't post the $5,000. Two weeks later she had a seizure in her cell. This is all on video unlike the Bland case. She was pronounced dead later at a hospital.

Marshall's family says that she had asked for medical attention and was denied. Her sister, Honey Marshall, says that she talked to her sister from the jail and that she said that her head was hurting and that she was blacking out. Detective Brad Fullwood of the Walker County Sheriff's Office said that Marshall had “seen a doctor one day and a nurse the other” a little over a week before her death and did not complain of anything. Honey continued.

“She was doing good down there...I called the jail several times and requested for them to take her to a real hospital and they wouldn't do so. If they would have this, her death could have been prevented and my sister would still be here. My heart hurts so bad. She was my best friend. I am so angry that they did this to her.” Leaders of the New Black Panther party and Nation of Islam in Houston said last week that they found nothing suspicious. A leader named Quannel X said in response to an early report “The New York Daily News hurt and upset people by comparing this case to Sandra Bland, and they never picked up the phone to get another side. Be responsible with your reporting.” I have read the article he is talking about and it is hot garbage. You could picture the writer standing on a street corner just trying his damnedest to get a riot started. Not a protest or conversations. But a riot.

Walker County Sheriff Clint McRae said “Everything has been followed through and through, and has been looked at. We're still waiting on the autopsy report, but everything has been handled appropriately.” Also “What I want to make very serious is that you understand there is absolutely no reason at all to think that the death of Ms. Marshall was caused by anything other than a health related issue.”

He also says that Marshall's sister Honey had never spoken to her. “All incoming and outgoing phone calls are recorded. There was never any contact with her sister, Honey. There were a couple of occasions where she attempted to contact Honey. Either Honey was gone or refused to take her calls.” Marshall's father is still trying to piece together what happened with his daughter. He says that she left her 3 year old daughter with him in Detroit while she worked at a new job with her boyfriend at IHOP and that they would get back together once she was financially better.

I think one of many problems with the justice system is the way people want results and they want them by the end of the hour. This isn't a TV show where they can just reach in someone's mouth and pull the answer out. An autopsy is hard as fuck especially when you take into account the circumstances surrounding it. Immediately going “The police did it!” disregarding the fact that she was arrested for cocaine possession and a sister that is shouting something that could easily be disproved does not help this. They will know if she called or not. I know it sucks to lose someone young in a family. I know from personal experience from a lot of dead people in my family. But rushing for justice in a situation that could simply be a blood clot will not help ease anyone's pain.

A lot of people are reporting this story saying “Young, Black Mother Dies In Police Custody!” with a picture of her and her daughter. Welcome to click bait. And sadly it works. Someone reporting or writing about being rational does not get views. Most people don't read past the first paragraph. I say wait and see what happens. Let science do what science does and determine her cause of death. There are cameras there. Let them be checked. If you truly believed that the justice system didn't work you wouldn't wear your seat belts of stop at red lights.

Click here for previous While You Were Sleeping.  

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