RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. (KMOV) – The NAACP is now involved in a case involving a homeless woman who died while in police custody.
The NAACP is asking whether Anna Brown was taken as just a homeless, black, drug addict and if so, did that effect how both hospital staff and police treated her.
Brown died in a jail cell from a blood clot after a St. Mary’s Hospital ER doctor did not find anything wrong with her. Richmond Heights police officers arrested her for trespassing after she would not leave complaining of leg pain. Hospital officials ruled its doctors acted appropriately and state that blood clots can go undetected, but the NAACP thinks there is more to the story.
Investigators are looking for red flags that may point to bias or hate crimes that may have contributed to Brown’s death.
“One thing that is blaring out there is what police have said in their reports is that they though she was on drug use,” Adolphus Pruitt, NAACP official said. “Question is now did police feel like they were dealing with a homeless drug addict and if they did – did that impact how they handled her and the treatment.”
The NAACP has been reviewing SSM Hospitals’ diversity training for two months and will meet with Richmond Heights police on Friday.