Dating apps can be the answer to a hopeless romantic’s dream, and it can also be completely life-altering. The tragic death of 23 year old Lauren Smith Fields leads to more precautions when dating online.
The young Black social media influencer was found dead in her apartment Dec. 12 after going on a Bumble date. Smith-Fields’ family claims the police department was negligent in their investigation into her death. Last Sunday (Jan. 23), family, friends, and the Bridgeport, Connecticut community came together for a rally to demand answers from officials and honor Smith-Fields life.
The march, named “Justice For Lauren,” began at the Bridgeport Police Department and ended at the city government center. Sunday also marked what would have been Smith-Fields’ 24th birthday.
Bridgeport police reported that Smith-Fields died “unexpectedly” on Dec. 12, 2021, at her home on Plymouth Street. Her parents, Shantell Fields and Everett Smith, said they had been trying to get in touch with Smith-Fields and didn’t find out about her death until they discovered a note on her front door from her landlord two days later.
According to the incident report obtained by News 8, a man Smith-Fields met on the dating app, Bumble, told officers he woke up next to Smith-Fields to find that “blood was coming out of her right nostril” and “she was not breathing.” The responding officer describes when he arrived, the man appeared “frantic” and was “trembling and visibly shaken.” The documents detail that the man told them he only knew Smith-Fields for three days and she got sick while they were drinking the night before. He also told them at one point Smith-Fields was in the bathroom for 10 to 15 minutes, but eventually came out and fell asleep.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) disclosed Smith-Fields’ cause of death Monday (Jan. 24). According to the OCME, Smith-Fields died from “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol.” The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death accidental.
Smith-Fields’ family are completely outraged by the ruling. The family lawyer shared a statement with local news reporters regarding the news.
“Now to find out that all of these substances are in their daughter’s body that basically took her life, they’re so angry right now,” said Attorney Darnell Crosland, Lauren Smith-Fields’ family lawyer. “This looks further like a manslaughter. It looks more like a murder, and if the police don’t start acting fast, we’re going to have a real big problem on our hands.”
People across social media are sharing their outrage online and showing support to Smith-Fields and her family fighting this battle. Many people are arguing why this case is not getting the media coverage other cases like Gabby Petito, who was killed by her fiancé, have received. Social media users assume it is because Smith-Fields was a Black woman allegedly harmed by a White man.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lauren Smith-Fields’ family and friends at this time. We hope people continue to share her story and raise awareness to these issues.
Statistics show that 64 percent of Black women said they do not feel safe in America, while 29 percent don’t feel safe on mainstream dating apps.
Here is our formal PSA to tread lightly when meeting up with people from online dating apps like Bumble, Tinder and Hinge. For women especially, it can be unsafe. Be sure to meet in a public place and proceed with caution at nighttime. It may be extremely helpful to refrain from sharing your home or work address. Stay vigilant!
Rest easy, Lauren Smith-Fields.