In a mirrored version of Sandra Bland’s horrific fate, a black British woman – Sarah Reed – was found dead in her cell last month, having previously been a victim of police brutality.
Ms Reed, 32, was found dead in her cell at Holloway Prison, north London, on 11 January 2016. Her story, as civil rights activist Lee Jasper rightly put it, is “both tragic and shocking”.
Metropolitan Police Officer James Kiddie was found guilty of common assault in March 2014, following an attack on Ms Reed, during a 2012 false shop-lifting allegation in London’s Regent Street.
The horrific attack which was caught on CCTV camera, involved PC Kiddie dragging Ms Reed by her hair while punching her repeatedly in the face.
The attack was so brutal that a fellow Police Officer in attendance provided key witnessed evidence against Kiddie.
Jasper who has been documenting his findings in regards to her death and has since said, Kiddie “was subject to a number of previous complaints one where he was found to have sprayed CS gas directly into the face of a number of UK Uncut tax avoidance demonstrators in 2011”.
Although the Metropolitan Police Service had dismissed the compliant, it was later overturned by the findings of an IPCC investigation that recommended that PC Kiddie face a misconduct hearing.
According to Jasper, Ms Reed “had suffered mental health issues ever since the sudden death of her newborn baby in September 2003”.
“It was whilst a patient detained under Section 3 of Mental Health Act, that her family says Sarah suffered a sexual assault in Maudsley hospital in October 2014”, Jasper continued.
Jasper explains further, in a detailed post on his blog, of how Ms Reed was wrongly arrested after she fought off her attacker, injuring him, before the staff called the police.
Ms Reed did not receive any medication for her mental health whilst remanded in prison. A feat which Jasper deems must have been “a living hell for someone whose life had been marred with personal tragedy, ill mental health and police brutality”.
Ms Reed’s family is seeking the truth of what happened and according to Jasper, they were told that the “Ministry of Justice had instructed the press not to report”.
A Prison Service Spokesperson said in a statement to a London media outlet, “Prison staff attempted CPR, but she was pronounced dead shortly after.
“As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”
Jasper has said he will be reporting more on the story which has brought back the #BlackLivesMatter movement as a focal point.
Sarah will be buried on Monday 8 February 2016 in a private family ceremony, according Jasper.