Native American activist found dead in US jail
A Native American activist has been found dead in a US jail in what seems to be a mysterious death similar to that of Sandra Bland in Texas.
Rexdale W. Henry, 53, who had been arrested on July 9 for failing to pay a traffic fine, was found dead inside the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi, five days later, according to local media.
The body of Henry, who was a member of the Choctaw tribe and a longtime community activist, was discovered half an hour after he was last seen alive.
The state has conducted an autopsy in a crime lab in Jackson, but the results have not been released yet.
Meanwhile, Henry’s family requested that a second independent autopsy be carried out in Florida.
“At a time when the nation is focused on the terrible circumstances of the brutal death of Sandra Bland, it is critical to expose the many ways in which black Americans, Native Americans and other minorities are being arrested for minor charges and end up dead in jail cells,” said Janis McDonald, a Syracuse University law professor.
His death came one day after 28-year-old Bland was found dead in a prison cell at the Waller County jail in Texas.
Bland was arrested on July 10 by a Texas state trooper for failing to signal while changing lanes with her vehicle.
An autopsy has confirmed an initial finding by a medical examiner that her death was a suicide.
However, her family has expressed strong doubts that Bland would take her own life as she was passionate about civil rights and excited about a new job at a college near Houston, Texas.
The deaths of Henry, Bland, and Kindra Chapman, an 18-year-old black womanwho was found dead hanging in her jail cell in Jefferson County, Alabama, are the latest in a series of suspicious police-involved incidents that have sparked protests in many cities across the US.