Another Black Woman Died In Police Custody, And The Details Are Suspicious

chicago police department car
Zain Murdock
January 6, 2022

On December 18, 2021, 33-year-old Irene Chavez was arrested at a gay bar in Chicago. But hours later, at 11:30am, she was pronounced dead after being found hanging by her shirt! 

Chavez’s loved ones say there are compelling reasons why this case is even more suspicious than it looks – and it already doesn’t look good.

“There is no video anywhere … nothing in the room, nothing at the entrance, nowhere in the office,” said a family friend of Chavez. “So we’ll never know what happened. It’s the police narrative against someone who is dead.” 

And there are even more red flags.

The Chavez family’s attorney says a video MUST exist, and the incident report the family received was significantly redacted. One officer was also inconsistent in his story, saying initially she wasn’t handcuffed in custody, then saying she WAS handcuffed.

So what really happened to Irene Chavez? One thing is for sure: we shouldn't stop at saying "we'll never know." Especially when research demonstrates that Black LGBTQ+ women and girls who appear “masculine” are treated more aggressively by police.

We should start by knowing that the police, and the authorities who work with and protect them, have always obscured the truth about our deaths. Like Chavez's family, we must refuse to let them get away with it without a fight.

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