After Priscilla Slater, a 38-year-old Black woman in Michigan, died in police custody earlier this summer, an attorney for her family, Geoffrey Fieger, is demanding charges be filed against the officers involved.
Earlier this week, city officials in Harper Woods, Michigan announced they had fired two officers in connection with Slater’s June 10th death, claiming the officers "concealed and manipulated evidence.”
"Unfortunately, our City has discovered that members of its Police Department attempted to conceal and manipulate evidence in the death investigation of Ms. Pricilla Slater,” said acting city manager John Szymanski in a statement, according to Fox2Detroit. “As a result, the City has immediately terminated the following Police Officers: Deputy Chief John Vorgitch and Patrol Officer Michael Pineau. The investigation by the Michigan Department of State Police is still ongoing in this matter."
Fieger is pushing for city officials to file charges against Vorgitch and Pineau, and is also demanding answers into how 38-year-old Slater died.
"People don't conceal this type of evidence unless there's liability, unless they've done something wrong," Fieger said Thursday (August 20), according to Fox2Detroit. "They don't do this just to do it."
He continued: "We'll see that Priscila was in need of medical care. We'll see that she could have been saved had she gotten to a hospital, and I'll bet you apples to oranges that they ignored her to death, literally let her suffer and die in the cell and provided no care and treatment. And that's almost like torture. That's torture. I realize maybe they didn't kneel on her neck but if you lock somebody up in need of medical care who's dying or a drug overdose or who's dying of a heart attack or who's dying of a medical condition and you've just watched them die and you let them suffer - you've done exactly what the people who have been accused in the George Floyd case of doing. You're causing a needless death and you're doing so because you have the keys, or you have the gun, and you're the cop."
Priscilla Slater was arrested by Harper Woods Police on June 8 and died two days later. Police say the 38-year-old was found unresponsive in a holding cell. Medics reportedly attempted to revive her but it was to no avail.
Slater’s family says they didn’t find out about her death until much later.
"Priscilla had died at 12:30 in the afternoon and they hadn't been notified for six hours,” Fieger said. “They knew that something was wrong here."
He continued, "We know from information that we received that it had something to do with the condition of Priscila Slater's body. At least that's what we were told by tipsters within the system.”