More than 6 months ago, my husband was arrested in a dispute over a 2 dollar bus ticket and taken to Prince George’s County Detention Center. That was the last time I saw him alive.
The officers responsible for causing his death were also in charge of investigating it, and I have no confidence in the objectivity or truthfulness of their findings. Since 2008, there have been at least three unexplained deaths of inmates at this detention center. That's why I need the Department of Justice to investigate and help find justice for my husband.
My name is Regina Shields, Samuel Shields’ widow. I am writing this petition not only to find justice for my husband but also to perhaps stop a growing trend of police abuse within the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Growing up in and around DC my entire life, I have seen and heard so many stories of police brutality and killings, but never would I have thought it would happen to someone I loved. Now, my husband too, is a statistic. And while I wait for justice, more people are at risk of becoming victims.
The police say that my husband became disruptive in custody, went into medical distress, and was taken to the hospital where he died. But a witness who says she was at the jail that afternoon says six officers jumped on him and began beating him into submission when he refused to put on his jumpsuit. She says she heard his screams until he couldn’t scream anymore and saw his lifeless body rushed away.
More than half a year has passed, and I have yet to receive any concrete answers concerning the cause of my husband’s death. Nor do I believe the Prince George County Jail or Police Department investigated my husband’s death objectively. No one should be arrested for a petty crime and end up dead.
I lost my best friend to police brutality. No one should ever be treated the way he was, beaten and killed as if he weren’t human. I’m doing this for him, because he deserves Justice and I know he would have done the same for me.
Far too often we hear this story, and far too often those connected to the brutality are charged with investigating it. The only way we can stop this pattern of unaccountability and guarantee justice is by ensuring that outside, objective legal agencies, take up the investigations in these instances. That is why the Justice Department needs to take this case and help bring closure to me and my family.
Please join me and help me find closure. Sign, and tell Robert Moossy of the US Justice Department, Civil Rights Division to investigate my husbands death.