Tawanda Jones has stood outside Baltimore’s City Hall every Wednesday for more than two years in protest of police brutality and the death of her brother Tyrone West, 44. West was pulled over in 2013 by police who searched his trunk and tackled him when he resisted arrest. He died the same day in a hospital. The state medical examiner said West died of a heart condition compounded by summer heat and the struggle with the officers. Jones believes her brother’s death was the result of police brutality and that the state conspired to cover up the incident. She says she was forced to wait five days before being permitted to see her brother’s body, and that she has yet to receive autopsy photos. An internal affairs investigation said the officers made mistakes but were not to blame for the death. Since the death of Freddie Gray enflamed tensions in Baltimore, Jones has found herself garnering increased community support from protesters and politicians alike. Jones has been recognized by the the local branch of the NAACP and Johns Hopkins University for her dedication to social justice.
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