Kin of woman who died in jail cell throws her ashes at police chief in protest
A woman whose niece died while in custody of the LAPD flung her relative’s ashes at the Los Angeles police chief “so they could be with him,” according to a report.
Sheila Hines-Brim, an aunt of Wakiesha Wilson, who died in 2016, was arrested Tuesday for hurling a powdery substance at top cop Charlie Beck during a meeting of the LA Police Commission, officials said.
“That’s Wakiesha. She’s going to stay with you,” Hines-Brim shouted after throwing the substance, NBC Los Angeles reported.
“I used her ashes so they could be with him. So he could feel her because he murdered her,” she told the outlet after being released late Tuesday.
Wilson’s body was found on Easter Sunday in 2016 hanging in a downtown jail cell, the LA Times reported. She had been accused of punching a patient at a downtown hospital after checking herself in complaining of back and chest pain.
Family members and activists rejected the suggestion that the 36-year-old killed herself, saying she wasn’t suicidal and believing an altercation with officers was to blame.
They also said the LAPD hadn’t notified Wilson’s family of her death. Her mother only found out she had died after Wilson missed her court hearing.
In December, the City Council paid nearly $300,000 to settle claims brought by Wilson’s relatives. The LAPD denied that officers used force against Wilson but the case resulted in internal reviews of practices including when jail staff should contact a mental health unit about an inmate and how to notify families about deaths.
Beck called Tuesday’s incident “not only disrespectful” to the office of police chief, “but more importantly to a process of community engagement that has been recognized across the nation.”
“This only created chaos and fear for any Angelinos who wanted to voice their opinion about policing in our city,” he said in a statement.
Another woman, Black Lives Matter activist Melina Abdullah, was also arrested at the meeting for assaulting a police officer, the LAPD said.
Both women were booked for battery on a police officer and released on $20,000 bail.
Cops didn’t identify the powdery substance. They said the room was cleared after powder was flung and that it was found to be non-hazardous.
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