Sarah Sunshine Manning: Native mother left to die in a jail cell

Sarah Lee Circle Bear, 1990-2015. Photo from RFH

Sarah Sunshine Manning calls attention to Sarah Lee Circle Bear, a 24-year-old mother whose cries for help in a South Dakota county jail preceded her death:
The death of Sandra Bland, an African American woman who died in a jail cell on July 13 , has the nation abuzz about the ongoing saga of police brutality against people of color, and this time, it is becoming even more apparent just how poorly women of color are treated.

But a lesser known story regarding a beautiful young Lakota woman is just as worthy of our attention. On July 6, 24-year-old Sarah Lee Circle Bear of Clairmont, South Dakota, was found unconscious in a holding cell in Brown County Jail in Aberdeen. Circle Bear was jailed on a bond violation.

Witnesses stated that before being transferred to a holding cell, Circle Bear pleaded to jailers that she was in excruciating pain. Jail staff allegedly responded by dismissing her cries for help, telling her to “knock it off,” and “quit faking.” Witnesses say that inmates cried out for the jail staff to help Circle Bear, to which they eventually responded by picking her up off of the floor, dragging her out of the cell, and transferring her to a holding cell. Circle Bear was later found unresponsive in the holding cell.

Get the Story:
Sarah Sunshine Manning: Sarah Lee Circle Bear Died While in Police Custody; Family Seeks Justice (Indian Country Today 7/28)

Earlier Story:
Female Inmate At Brown County Jail Dies In Hospital (KELO 7/6)

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