Family Searches for Answers After Sheneque Proctor Dies in Police Custody

18-year-old Sheneque Proctor died while in the custody of police.

Sheneque was arrested on Novemeber 1 for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. In an ideal world, bail would be paid and Sheneque would return home to her 5 month old son Zamaruien Blevins. However, sadly, Sheneque was found dead in her cell the next morning. Tracy Rodda, Sheneque’s aunt, says that the young Ms. Proctor had asthma, and complained of harsh treatment from the police.

After receiving news that Sheneque had passed, her aunt, other relatives, and the president of the NAACP Alabama State Conference, Bernard Simelton, went to the jail to get Sheneque’s things and  more information. When arriving, the party was disgruntled to find that no one was available to speak with them and that the Mayor was unavailable as well. While Sheneque’s mother Scherita Proctor has decided not to speculate until the death certificate arrives, Sheneque’s death is all too familiar and is more than likely the result of police negligence and violence.

The names of black and brown people dying at the hands of the police risks overwhelming us but by speaking of Sheneque and bringing attention to her untimely death we do not play into the hands of those who demonize and avoid discussing victims of police brutality, especially when the victims are black women and girls. When it seems there is nothing else we can possibly do, we must educate ourselves, our communities, and encourage those who would rather not, to advocate when black and brown men and black and brown women are killed at the hands and in the custody of the police.

Sign the petition requesting that there be a federal and state investigation concerning her death.

Randie Henderson is a Gates Millennium Scholar and recent college grad. She is driven to write, read, learn, and educate about ways to dismantle oppression in America and globally because she is passionate about people and justice. You can find her on

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