(NEW YORK) — Two Bridgeport, Connecticut, detectives involved in the case of Lauren Smith-Fields, who was found dead in her apartment after a date last month, have been placed on administrative leave and are being investigated by the police department’s internal affairs office, according to the mayor.
Disciplinary actions may also be taken against Bridgeport Police detectives Kevin Cronin and Angel Llanos, due to a “lack of sensitivity to the public and failure to follow police policy” in the handling of the two cases, according to a statement from Joseph P. Ganim, the city’s mayor.
“It is an unacceptable failure if policies were not followed,” Ganim said. “To the families, friends and all who care about the human decency that should be shown in these situations in this case by members of the Bridgeport Police Department, I am very sorry.”
The detectives are also being investigated for their handling of the case of Brenda Lee Rawls, who was found dead and alone in her home on Dec. 12.
Smith-Fields was found dead in her apartment that same day, shortly after meeting a man on a dating app.
The families of Smith-Fields, 23, and Rawls, 53, claim the police failed to notify them of the deaths and say they learned of the deaths from others. Both women are Black.
The supervisory officer who was in charge of overseeing these investigations retired from the department on Friday, the mayor said, adding that the cases are both under active investigation and have been reassigned.
Both cases are both under active investigation and have been reassigned.
The news comes just days after the Connecticut chief medical examiner’s office announced that Smith-Fields’ cause of death was “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol” and the medical examiner ruled the manner of death an “accident.”
The cause and manner of death in Rawls’ case are still undetermined, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports.
The Bridgeport Police Department said it was unable to respond to ABC News’ request for comment and union Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees did not respond. It is unclear if Cronin and Llanos have legal representation.
Smith-Fields’ family announced earlier this month it plans to file a lawsuit against the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, as well as the Bridgeport Police Department, alleging that police haven’t properly investigated her death and have violated their civil rights.
“The way they handled her investigation was literally disgraceful, disgusting, horrible. It was not even human,” Lakeem Jetter, Smith-Fields’ brother, said in an interview with Good Morning America.
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