Mitrice Richardson’s mom sues Los Angeles County

Earlier I wrote about the strange disappearance of Mitrice Richardson, who vanished into thin air shortly after being released from police custody. She had been arrested on a minor charge. It came to light later on that she was probably suffering from an episode of severe bipolar disorder. She had no history of mental illness and in fact was a high achiever, graduating from college with a 4.0 average. She had also won some beauty contests.

Well, since the beginning Mitrice’s family has blamed the police for letting her go. They say the cops should have seen how strangely she was acting and held her for a psych eval. She definitely was acting oddly in the restaurant where she was arrested, but the police claim she appeared sane enough in jail and they have a legal obligation to release arrestees as soon as possible. For Mitrice, that meant in the middle of the night. Supposedly they offered to let her stay until daybreak, but she refused and left the station a little after midnight.

Now, Mitrice’s mother, Latrice Sutton, has sued the county over her disappearance. According to this article, she’s alleging wrongful death, emotional distress, and civil rights violations. I thought Sutton had filed suit before but it seems she only filed a claim or something. She’s seeking unspecified damages, but mainly the ability to learn more about the circumstances of Mitrice’s arrest and disappearance. Sutton says: “This magical lawsuit will allow me to obtain every single document in the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department and to depose every officer and detective involved.”

7 thoughts on “Mitrice Richardson’s mom sues Los Angeles County

  1. Princess Shantae July 1, 2010 / 4:36 pm

    I guess her mom has to be mad at somebody and the police are the easiest since Mitrice is long gone and hard to find. Also she is probably feelign real guilty because she or nobody else in the family would go pick her up from the station.
    I don’t know what the cops were suposed to do with her. If they kept her against her will they’d be in even worse trouble then they are now. Ditto if they sent her to a psych ward since it doesn’t look like she was that far out of her head. It’s not like she didn’t know who she was or something. In LA they must deal with tons of people ten times more messed up than her every day.

    • Meaghan July 1, 2010 / 10:09 pm

      It occurs to me that her mom is not helping the wrongful death suit by stating publicly that she’s not sure Mitrice is dead.

  2. Justin July 1, 2010 / 8:33 pm

    Yes, I always thought that if the cops kept her against her will because they thought she ‘might’ have mental problems, even though she was acting lucid and didn’t appear to be a danger to herself and others, that her family would be among the first people screaming that her civil rights were violated.

    I think she likely wandered off the road in the hilly forest area in the countryside of Malibu after leaving the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station looking for a place to sleep and died of exposure or snakebite, or fell off a cliff.

    • Meaghan July 1, 2010 / 10:10 pm

      The supposed odd behavior filmed at the police station doesn’t sound that odd to me — holding onto the door and swinging from side to side. I have a tendency to rock back and forth when I am in pain or emotional distress. I am not (usually) crazy.

      • Princess Shantae July 2, 2010 / 3:48 pm

        Or maybe she hitched a ride with somebody. All kind of things happen to people who get in cars with strangers, and double that if her mind wasn’t all there.
        Her mom saying in public she isn’t sure if Mitrice is really dead kind of points me to think she’s suing out of anger and being frustrated. Who can blame her but she’s not really doing anybody any favors.

  3. Melinda March 6, 2016 / 11:45 am

    The story of Mitrice Richardson is very bizarre and intriguing. I wonder if we will ever find out just what happened to her and how she died?

    I don’t blame her family for wanting answers. I DO believe that her case might be helpful when people of color disappear because it’s true that missing Black people (and other minorities) often receive less attention than young white girls…not playing the “race card” just stating facts.

    As to the lawsuit? It won’t bring Mitrice back, but maybe it will ease some of the pain her loved ones are feeling.

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