Just days before the Christmas holiday, and after several complaints of abdominal pain, a pregnant Lanekia Michelle Brown was found unconscious in her Madison County, Mississippi cell. Now, Brown’s family has hired Attorney Carlos Moore to investigate her death.

In an exclusive interview with WJTV 12, Moore said the “suspicious” death is likely a result of discrimination and has urged Black people to “be on high alert” in Madison County.

In the days leading up to Brown’s death, jail witnesses say the 37-year-old Black woman complained of severe stomach pains and was taken to see the jail nurse on more than one occasion. Brown was never taken outside of the jail to the hospital. A white woman in a similar situation was able to seek outside medical attention.

The news comes at a time when Black women are dying in childbirth at three times the rate of White women.

“I would advise any African-American traveling through Madison County to be on high alert, and if your loved one… happens to be incarcerated, do all you can to get them out of jail as soon as possible because within hours or days they could be dead,” Moore told reporters.

Moore is also the lead attorney on three other cases involving inmates who died in the custody of Madison County officials. They include a juvenile case from 2015 and the cases of Harvey Hill and Larry Thompson Sr. from 2018.

Requests for comment from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department regarding procedures and protocols in the Madison County Detention Center have gone unanswered.

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