On Oct. 7, in Huntsville, Alabama, 29-year-old Christina Nance was found dead inside a Huntsville Police Department van. Just over a week later, there still appear to be more questions than answers as to why she was in the van, how long she had been there before she was discovered and how she died. Police are now claiming, however, that they know how she got into the van—they said she got in on her own, and they have the surveillance footage to prove it.
On Thursday, Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray told News 19 the department tracked down footage from a nearby building’s security camera that showed Nance “somewhat disoriented” and “alone” getting into the van.
McMurray wouldn’t say when the video footage was dated, but he did say Nance had been dead for days before she was found—without specifying how many days.
In a case that is naturally giving Black people major Freddie Gray vibes, it just seems like being vague and less than transparent with the revealing of information just isn’t the move, which is likely why Nance’s family is growing impatient.
Nance’s sister, Latausha Nance, told News 19 that she had previously asked the Huntsville Police Department (HPD) to see surveillance footage and was told by the department that their cameras might not go back that far. But McMurray says now that the footage the department has obtained will be shown to the family Friday before it’s turned over to the media for everyone to see.
At any rate, the family now has famed civil attorney Ben Crump on their side. In a statement, Crump pledged that “we will get to the truth of what happened to Christina Nance.”
But getting to the truth remains looking more and more like an uphill battle as the coroner still hasn’t determined a cause of Nance’s death but has already ruled out foul play.
As for the van itself: “The van was purchased in 1995 and was used to transport inmates. A spokesperson for HPD says when the Madison County Sheriff’s Office took over all detention services in the early 2000s the van was repurposed. The van was last used in March 2021, to transport evidence approved for destruction from cleared cases,” News 19 reported.
The fact is, Black people have, for a long time now, been at a place where any connection between a Black person’s death and police is enough to raise eyebrows and red flags. The suspense built up before the revealing of information isn’t just frustrating, it serves to exacerbate the distrust that’s already cemented in Black people when it comes to the inner workings of law enforcement.
But, we’ll see.
#SayHerName: Black Women And Girls Killed By Police
1. Ma'Khia Bryant
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Paula Bryant tells me her 16 year-old daughter Ma’Khia Bryant was an honor roll student and a sweet child. Ma’Khia was shot and killed by a @ColumbusPolice on Legion Lane at 4:30p today. pic.twitter.com/0FfbQVEgSD— Lacey Crisp (@LaceyCrisp) April 21, 2021
2. Atatiana Jefferson2 of 16
3. Pamela Turner3 of 16
4. Korryn Gaines4 of 16
5. Yvette Smith5 of 16
6. Miriam Carey6 of 16
7. Shelley Frey7 of 16
8. Darnisha Harris8 of 16
9. Malissa Williams9 of 16
10. Shantel Davis
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Protest Held In Brooklyn At Church Ave Over Police Shooting Of Shantel Davis pic.twitter.com/pivdRC8FRU— Luna (@TheLunaInverse) July 14, 2016
11. Rekia Boyd11 of 16
12. Aiyana Stanley-Jones12 of 16
13. Tarika Wilson13 of 16
14. Kathryn Johnston
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Atlanta now says will release police reports on Kathryn Johnston shooting and one other to Citizen's Review Board. Board chair is shocked.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 7, 2009
15. Kendra James
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Memorial planned to mark 10-year anniversary of Portland police fatal shooting of Kendra James: http://t.co/TmzUNsT5WP— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) April 30, 2013
Justice For Christina Nance: Cops Suggest Video Absolves Them After Black Woman Dies In Police Van was originally published on newsone.com