This is a developing story.
A 22-year-old single mother from Texas is dead after spending two weeks in jail, local KHOU news team reports.
Symone Marshall moved to Texas a month ago looking for a fresh start, but a car crash on Interstate 45 sent her life spiraling in the opposite direction.
Marshall was in a single vehicle car crash with a friend last month. Paramedics responded to the incident and reported no signs of obvious injury. When both women allegedly refused further medical treatment, they were arrested and booked at Walker County Jail on misdemeanor and felony charges of cocaine possession, according to KHOU.
The passenger in Symone’s car was fortunate enough to post bond, but the young mom was unable to come up with the $5,000 fee.
Symone was forced to spend the next two weeks behind bars. Isolated from family and friends, her sisters say they spoke to her several times, where she explained she was suffering from headaches and felt like she was blacking out. Her concerned family called the jail, demanding she receive medical attention. Those calls for help went unheard.
Due to alleged medical negligence on the jail’s part, Symone suffered a seizure in her jail cell. Only then, was she finally taken to Huntsville Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Autopsy results are still pending.
The news of her death comes amid unhealed wounds from innumerable incidents where Black women’s bodies were carelessly disregarded in the hands of ‘the law.’ Mental video reels run through our heads of Sandra Bland’s encounter with the police officer–as we put herself or our daughters, or our sisters in her shoes. Suddenly all these women that we don’t know, we know. We know them through ourselves. And that’s why we have to say her name.
Symone Marshall reminds us that Black women are still disregarded by the system and recklessly unprotected.
A statement from Sheriff Clint McRae suggests a proper investigation is being conducted:
“Even though we feel pretty comfortable, we’re going to look at it from all angles. We’re a very transparent department. We want to know exactly what happened so we can go home and sleep at night.”
How privileged are they to feel “comfortable” in the midst of death? While the police force search for answers so they can “sleep at night,” Symone’s family has many sleepless, grief filled nights ahead of them. A child has to grow up without a mother. A sister won’t receive a phone call from her sister.
Perhaps if law enforcement would stop viewing us as “cases,” and remember our humanity, and our fragility, we would have less names to say, and less daughters to bury.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Symone’s family.