In 2016, Sheila Hines-Brim’s niece Wakeisha Wilson died in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department. During an emotional meeting Tuesday with the Los Angeles Police Commission, Hines-Brim threw Wilson’s ashes at Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.
“That’s Wakeisha. She’s going to stay with you,” Hines-Brim shouted after she threw the ashes, according to NBC Los Angeles.
At the time of Wilson’s death, she was in custody for punching a patient at a hospital shortly after she admitted herself for chest pains. A day after being detained, she was found hanging in her cell.
The coroner’s office ruled suicide as the cause of death, but activists said that she never showed any signs that she’d kill herself. According to the Los Angeles Times, Wilson told her cellmate she was having suicidal thoughts. Wilson’s family said that they weren’t properly notified of her death, and they were subsequently awarded $300,000 by the city.
After Hines-Brim threw the ashes at Beck on Tuesday, the room where the commission had been meeting was evacuated and Hines-Brim was taken into custody. She was released later that evening on $20,000 bail.
“I used her ashes,” Hines-Brim said, after her release, “so they could be with him. So he could feel her, because he murdered her.”
In a statement, Beck called the incident “not only disrespectful” to the office of police chief but also “more importantly to a process of community engagement that has been recognized across the nation. This only created chaos and fear for any Angelenos who wanted to voice their opinion about policing in our city.”