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On July 14, 18-year-old Alabama resident Kindra Chapman was arrested on a first-degree robbery charge after reportedly stealing a cell phone. At 6:22 that evening, Chapman was booked into the Homewood City Jail — only to be found dead in her cell a little over an hour later after supposedly using a bed sheet to hang herself.
Chapman's death came just one day after the death of Sandra Bland, who died under unsettlingly similar circumstances at a jail in Texas. Chapman's family and local residents are taking these similarities firmly to heart, expressing a general distrust of the investigation process thus far and an unwavering support for those actively protesting outside the Homewood City Jail. In a statement to AL.com, Chapman's mother Kathy Brady reveals she wasn't even notified of her daughter's death until 9 p.m. Brady also believes local police killed her daughter and are using the claim of suicide as a way to dodge a thorough investigation.
After a nationwide questioning of Bland's supposed suicide in Texas, the FBI launched their own inquiry — treating the case as a murder investigation. Though the federal government doesn't maintain a comprehensive record of citizens killed by police, The Counted — a project founded by the Guardian in an effort to make such statistics easily accessible — reported in June that the 2015 total had already reached 500. At the current rate, more than 1,000 lives will be taken by police before the end of the year.