The death of Brenda Lee Rawls, whose family has denounced the timeliness of police notification, was caused by cardiovascular disease with diabetes the contributing factor, according a state medical examiner.
From Captain Kevin Gilleran, detective bureau:
The Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center (EOC) received a call for service regarding an untimely death (No. 21000105892). Upon police arrival, it was found that Ms. Brenda Lee Rawls (DOB 12/02/1968) had passed away unexpectedly. As is protocol, the Bridgeport Police Department (BPD) Detective Bureau (DB) took charge of the untimely death investigation under DB case No. 21D-1890.
On January 31, 2022, the Bridgeport Police Department Identification Unit was advised by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) that Brenda Lee Rawls toxicology came back negative. The Rawls family was immediately notified. The family was also informed that additional tests were necessary before the OCME would make a decision on cause and manner of death.
On February 22, 2022, the Connecticut OCME determined the cause and manner of death of Ms. Brenda Lee Rawls. The manner of death has been certified as Natural. The cause of death has been certified as Cardiovascular Disease. The contributory cause of death is Diabetes. The OCME has notified the next of kin. The Detective Bureau will officially close this case once the OCME legal documents are physically received at the Bridgeport Police Department.
The Bridgeport Police Department continues to express their heartfelt sympathies to the Rawls family during this difficult time.
Smith-Fields, 23, and Rawls, 53 died in unrelated incidents Dec. 12. Their relatives have complained they were not properly notified of the fatalities by police and that the force has not seriously investigated the cases.
No one has been charged in connection with either death. Smith-Fields died of an accidental overdose, according to the medical examiner. Rawls’ cause of death has not been released.
The cases garnered national media attention last month, resulted in hundreds demonstrating downtown on Jan. 23, and in calls for Garcia to resign or for the mayor to remove her from command.
All the while the police chief has been relatively silent and not held any press conferences or directly addressed the criticism. She did, however, in a Feb. 7 letter to the mayoral-appointed police board, provide a timeline of steps she took from late December through late January to address the concerns over the Smith-Fields and Rawls investigations.
“Medical Examiner: Brenda Lee Rawls Death Caused By Cardiovascular Disease” what does that have to do with Mayor Joe Ganim calling the families of Smith-Fields and Rawls to express that you are “deeply saddened by the loss that you and your have encountered. My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. May my condolences bring you comfort and may my prayers ease the pain of this loss.” Their love ones were found dead on Dec. 12, 2021, Mayor Ganim what were you being so busy that you didn’t time to make a phone call.