TikTok customers generate hundreds of thousands of views with Lauren Smith-Fields justice marketing campaign
Police are still investigating the college student’s death
TikTok users draw attention to the case Lauren Smith-Fields, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her home in Bridgeport, Connecticut, last month.
Smith-Fields, 23, was found unresponsive at her home on December 12 after meeting an elderly white man on dating app Bumble, theGrio reported. The man, identified as a 37-year-old engineer Matthew LaFountainHe reportedly contacted police about Smith-Fields’ death and was not arrested for questioning, Westchester News 12 reported.
Lauren Smith-Fields (Credit: GoFundMe/Family Handout)
The victim’s family has called the police over their hostile and uncooperative attitude in the investigation into her death. The family is reportedly taking legal action against the Bridgeport Police Department over the department’s abusive handling of the case. Meanwhile, the hashtag #justiceforlaurensmithfields has garnered 4.2 million views on TikTok thanks to users raising awareness of the case.
“She died under mysterious circumstances,” True Crime and Travel told TikToker Haley Toumaian, who has 751,000 followers, in a video that has received 1 million views.
In another video that has been viewed 12 million times is TikToker Fiona Meihan called the lack of media coverage “angry”.
The victim’s family and her lawyer have pointed out the many mistakes made by police on the first day of the investigation. Fields said after she was granted access to her daughter’s home, she noticed important physical evidence that police were unable to collect, such as a condom with semen inside and a pill that could be a tranquilizer.
“The first night we saw there cups, upside down plates and the lube. The cops didn’t take any of the cups to test the liquor.” Lakeem Jetter, Lauren’s brother, to Rolling Stone. “There was a large bloodstain in the middle of her bed, with streaks going to the right side.”
“We know without a doubt that my daughter was not a drug user and I paid for a second autopsy myself out of pocket because we were so uncomfortable with the way it was handled,” he said Everett Smith, sire of Smith-Fields.
The story goes on
The city coroner has not yet released Smith-Fields’ cause of death. The family paid for an independent investigation based on the handling of the investigation by the Bridgeport Police Department. LaFountain was not named as a suspect in Smith-Fields’ death.
Many TikTokers have referenced the “Missing White Woman Syndrome,” a term that describes how people of color don’t get the same attention as white women when they’re missing. TikToker criticize the lack of coverage of the Smith-Fields case with the hashtag #justiceforlaurensmithfields.
“We haven’t had any responses since the day we learned she passed,” says Lauren’s mother. Shantell Fields, said Yahoo News. The family say the Bridgeport Police Department told them to stop calling repeatedly to find out the status of the investigation.
“We have seen the amount of resources that have gone into other missing white women cases like Gabby Petito, and we know that so many black women are sorely missed in this country,” the attorney said family Darnell Croland said NBC Connecticut. “Everyone is speaking out, everyone is offended by the way the Bridgeport Police Department and the City of Bridgeport have been treating us.”
Jetter said an arrest was not made because officers said LaFountain, the man who was with his sister the night she died, was “nice” and “doesn’t need to be examined.”
“When I asked the officer about the guy, he said he was a very nice guy and they weren’t going to investigate him anymore. It was almost like he was sticking up for him, and it seemed odd hearing that from a detective,” Jetter told NBC Connecticut.
“He told me right on the phone to stop calling him and hung up.
LaFountain reportedly told police Smith-Fields asked him to pay for a $40 manicure and invited him to her apartment, where they drank tequila. At some point she vomited in the bathroom and later met her brother in front of her apartment and got something from him. Upon her return, LaFountain claims Smith-Fields spent more than 10 minutes in the bathroom.
According to LaFountain, she ended up falling asleep on the couch while watching the film, so he took her to her bed and fell asleep next to her. When he woke up the next morning, he saw that her nose was bleeding and not breathing, so he called 9-1-1. LaFountain claims he did not have sex with Smith-Fields.
The police are still investigating her death.
“I have a feeling if people are loud about it, something might happen,” says TikToker Fiona Meihan insiders said. “Especially now while it’s fresh – put pressure on the police because they don’t say anything about it and it’s very annoying.”
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