Thursday, December 25, 2014

#NewsBham #BlackLivesMatter - Who was #ShenequeProctor and Why the Hell Am I Just Now Asking?

by Lee Waites

On December 2, 2014, WELD for Birmingham, a local community news source published a story about the death of Sheneque Proctor, an 18 year old Brighton woman who was arrested in early November by the Bessemer Police Department. 

Sheneque was arrested, Saturday night, November 1, and according to officials, found dead in her cell Sunday morning, November 2.

In the story by WELD, Sheneque's aunt, Tracy Rodda, stated that Proctor informed her that she, Sheneque, was being arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. 

Also, according to WELD, their reporter asked to see the arrest report but was denied.       
Bessemer City Attorney Shan Paden said, “I know the case. I know we had a death in the jail. Erring on a conservative side, not to protect the city but to protect the rights of an 18-year-old, the city of Bessemer will not disclose any information.”
In an attempt to confirm this report by WELD I searched the website and found only this: Sheneque Proctor - Obituary

An Internet search provided links to numerous other sources (most of which were actually slightly modified "reprints" of the original WELD story).  

I don't intend to state any conclusions about this story, other than I don't have enough to go on. In fact, I think that's the point. 

The reporter for WELD did an excellent job attempting to shed light on this. And I am confused and bemused that I could find absolutely no mention of it in other local news outlets. 

Following the trail of "shares" "likes" and hashtags I found that the local response and awareness of this story was, in my opinion, disappointing. 

Hopefully this story will continue to spread, and more people will demand some kind of information. As the most capable, well connected, longest running newspaper (whatever that means these days) should be my first source to find some report, other than an obituary, on the death of an inmate with obvious questions so relevant to other news of the day. 

According to her aunt, Sheneque Proctor had problems with asthma. There is absolutely no need for drawing the obvious comparisons to the death of Eric Garner, who was recently killed in a botched arrest in New York City for this story to be newsworthy. Although, at the very least that is reason for some coverage. 

There is plenty of reason for this incident to at least have a small story in the pages of, given the questions surrounding it.  

There has been a petition created to urge further investigation into the death of Sheneque Proctor.

(See Petition Here)
Petition recipients:
State Senator
Quinton Ross
State Representative
Alvin Holmes
State Representative
John Knight
State Representative
Louise Alexander
Terri Sewell


Sheneque Proctor


Sheneque Proctor