Watch: On Emotional Night Police Commission Hears From Families Following Untimely Deaths Of Two Women

City Council members, an attorney and family members addressed the Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday night into local law enforcement’s handling of the deaths of Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls that have received national attention.

Speakers touched on a number of items, some emotional, some sobering, others direct, that ranged from urging commissioners and Mayor Joe Ganim to call in the federal Department of Justice for a review of the respective cases, the removal of Rebeca Garcia as acting chief as well as repurposing how police respond to likewise situations.

Commission Chair Danny Roach calls on the speakers starting with City Councilwoman Maria Pereira.

See video above.



  1. Well, JML, you’re correct, have to let the investigations occur and see where the evidence takes them. But the politics of it isn’t going anywhere, and that includes the racial elements that fall on Ganim’s election cycle desk. It played into the last election and will play into the next. Elections come fast, the court can moves slow, and politics is constant, especially with the racial elements that have been taking place in Port’s Police Department over the years which has been an ongoing thing.

    Ganim is somewhat in the crosshairs with the demand for the state to take over and to appoint someone else as acting chief until a permanent chief is hired. We know he can’t replace Garcia with a white person, and he can’t dismiss the largest voting demographic block, the Latinos either. He can try to ride it out with Garcia. If there was ever a chance of her becoming the permanent chief, you can forget about that.

    My guess is the safest play would be to let the investigation occur under the state or at least with their assistance in what you, like to call, “transparency” see where the evidence takes it. See where the internal affairs investigation goes and what happens with the officers either disciplined or resigned. Replace Garcia with the assistant chief, who is also Latino and had placed the two Det. on administrative leave until a permanent chief is hired.

    If Lauren’s family intends to sue for negligence and treatment Rawls family seems they have a case as well, even stronger, depending on the cause of death, since no initial investigation or any contact with the family seemed to take place. No matter what, there’s always going to be a sense of negligence in the processing and handling.

    I would say that would be the grenade after Ganim pulls the pin, washing his hands of the whole thing, and lobs it back at the department. JMO

    How will these play out in departments, city hall, the public, the courts, the media, and in the next election cycle?

    Time will tell.

  2. Attorney Darnell Crosland, base on your comments about the untimely death of Lauren Smith-Smith and Brenda Lee Rawls hopefully you would reach out to Attorney Benjamin Crump because of his experience in dealing with national cases of blacks like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

    1. How about bringing in Colombo, Johnny Cochran, Inspector Gadget, the United Nations to investigate? Maybe Joe Ganim can deputize Ron Mackey and have him lead the investigation. At least one family member states that the mayor’s apology was “too little, too late.” It’s not too late to seek money by asking for donations and suing the city. It’s about the money for that’s all they want. Only one black detective? It’s because of racism? First female Hispanic acting police chief and since day one, an organized group of mostly black men/ministers have been doing all they can to replace her with someone ‘that looks like them.’

      As for one black detective, recently one black detective decided to transfer back out of the detective bureau. Why? Because he would earn over $30,000 less as a detective.

      1. Joel,
        Nice to be communicating with you once again. You have access often to more info than the average OIB blogger, but also to a different type, that I would call “walking around curiously with your ears open”. Isn’t it amazing what you can hear without even trying?
        Perhaps you can share an opinion as to why the City posted Department Demographic report of January 10, 2022 along with Department Policy link on Bridgeport PD website? Does it have anything to do with Tier 1 certification? Who keeps that type of data? I have requested City info but have no response yet. So I tried one other source. And they provided me with similar total certified City officers as of February 14 but without ‘demographics’ or racial breakdowns. Slightly higher number? Why? Whom did we hire in the month? Did no one resign or retire during that month?
        I tend to look for ‘white supremacy’ clues in words or actions today rather than use the ‘race’ term. Just seemed like big spread between white, Hispanic and black officers in detective counts. You offer a counter that one resignation from the black detective number occurred because of $30,000 difference in compensation? Can you share why or how? We all can learn. Time will tell.

  3. America has seen Ben Crump in action and how successful has been in assisting local attorneys even in states that he doesn’t have a law license to practice in. Rev. Al Sharpton has been to Bridgeport a number of times, he right there in New York City an hour away. These two black women were murdered on Dec 12, 2021 and their families need answers especially after all of the failure of the police and Mayor Ganim.

    Even with all of the mistakes and failures by the police chief, the detectives and the police commissioners the buck stops with Joe Ganim, he was so busy that he couldn’t call the Lauren Smith-Smith and Brenda Lee Rawls families. Let the city prove Attorney Darnell Crosland is wrong about lack of action wasn’t about race. Joel Gonzalez I’m sure that you are already on case helping the BPD.

  4. JML, the same issues are in the Bridgeport Fire Department the past federal lawsuits in both departments have returned and the city has turned its back and the city council doesn’t want to get involved unless the mayor gives them permission. The FBI and a State take over is the only way there’s going to be real change.


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