Justice for Ta'Neasha Chappell
Justice for Ta'Neasha Chappell
Why this petition matters
On July 15, 2021, Ta’Neasha Chappell fell seriously ill in the Jackson County, Indiana jail. She reported vomiting blood to officers around 8 pm and requested to be taken to the hospital. Ta’Neasha made the same report and request again at 11 pm. And then again at 11:30 pm, 12:30 am, 1:30 am, 2 am, 3 am, 3:15 am, 5 am, 7 am, 8:45 am, 9:20 am and 9:55 am.
Ta’Neasha’s requests for help were repeatedly ignored, laughed at or denied every single time. And her condition continued to decline. She was extremely dehydrated. She filled a bucket with bloody vomit. Her speech was barely discernible. And she became incoherent. By 10:45 am, Ta’Neasha had collapsed on the floor of the common area, naked and covered in her own waste. Officers took several minutes to respond, only to stand over Ta’Neasha, belittle her, force her back to her cell and lock her down.
For four more hours, as Ta’Neasha’s condition deteriorated to a dire state. Meanwhile, officers accused her of faking and of acting like she was in kindergarten. One sergeant even told Ta’Neasha that she deserved to just lie on the ground “and suffer” because of her inability to dress herself. Ta’Neasha remained nonverbal, jaundiced and weakened to the point where she could not stand. Throughout this time, the jail nurse refused to see Ta'Neasha. Overall, more than 10 officers and a jail nurse all declined to get Ta’Neasha transported to the hospital, even as she reached a point where she had defecated herself, had filled buckets with bloody vomit, had become unable to stand or speak coherently, had fallen struck her head a on steel bunk, and had turned yellow.
When an ambulance came to the jail at 3:30 pm, officers advised EMS workers that Ta’Neasha condition was not an emergency. She died two hours later.
An autopsy of Ta'Neasha identified toxicity (poisoning) as the cause of death. Investigating officers did little to find the source of the poisoning. Even when they were given a drink bottle suspected of containing toxic substances, which investigators that noted to appear to be off-color, the investigators did not test it. When an inmate reported who poisoned Ta'Neasha and how it was done, little follow up was done.
In December of 2021, the local prosecutor denied to take action on the case. Unsurprisingly, this prosecutor is also personal friends with the sheriff and several officers. He spent the first five pages of his report demonizing Ta'Neasha and discussing her irrelevant background. To be clear, Ta'Neasha was booked on simple shoplifting charges, followed by a police chase in which Ta'Neasha drove off from an officer when he pulled a gun. A ridiculous bond of $50,000 was initially set for Ta'Neasha.
Ta’Neasha Chappell was one of only two Black people in the openly racist jail. She was surrounded by inmates who openly threatened her, called her racial slurs, placed nooses in her cell and who have since discussed poisoning her. Ta'Neasha was left to die by everyone who made contact with her in the jail.
Ta’Neasha was only 23 years old. She left behind her beautiful daughter and a grieving family.
This petition is to seek and receive justice for the unjust neglect and abuse which led to the killing of Ta'Neasha Chappell.
Specific demands include:
1. Federal prosecution of the involved jail officers and the jail nurse
2. Termination of the involved jail officers, the jail commander and the jail nurse
3. Revocation of the jail nurse's license
4. Removal of Rick Meyer as Jackson County Sheriff and a complete audit of the financial distributions he has received in office, including but not limited to base compensation, incentive compensation, compensation from line-itemed matters such as those for vehicles and travel.
5. Closure of the Jackson County jail until a comprehensive audit of patterns and practices is performed, corrective mandates are imposed and confirmation is made that the changes have been made
6. Comprehensive jail reform in Indiana to eliminate the disparate impositions of bonds, to require the presence of 24/7 on-site medical personnel at jails, to require in-house oversight of the jail's medical program by an individual with credentials of an RN or higher, to require state certification of all workers responsible for inmate safety, to require body camera usage by all jail officers, to remove the jail inmate copay requirements for on-site medical care and to modify the inmate classification and assignment systems in order to assure that biased and racially motivated placements do not occur without consequence to the responsible jail workers.
Like Ta'Neasha, there have been many beautiful black minorities, women and men alike, who have also lost their lives to the hands of law enforcement due to underlying racism and sheer disregard for human lives.
This petition is aimed at ensuring not only those involved in the death of Ta'Neasha Chappell are held accountable and prosecuted, but to ensure that behavior such as this is punishable by law and those responsible will always reap the consequences of their actions.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It's time for America to come together. If you're just as tired of we are of the racism, neglect and unfair treatment of fellow minorities, now is the time to make a change. Now is the time for your voice to be heard and a chance for you to do something to break the cycle. To ensure that our next generation of kids do not have to deal with the same traumas of watching minorities like us fall victim to the repeated cycle of systemic racism, abuse and neglect.
We each have to do our part and this is where we start.
The family of Ta'Neasha is calling for action. Please visit www.justicefortaneasha.com in order to see a list of demands and ways YOU can help get justice in this case.
The Family of Ta'Neasha Chappell