During the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement, there’s been a push to revisit a number of cases where people feel justice has not been served. One of those incidents includes the mysterious death of Georgia mother Tamla Horsford.
For those not familiar with Tamla’s story, the mother of five died in November of 2018 when she attended an “adult slumber party” with other football moms. While authorities claim the death of Tamla, who allegedly fell from a balcony, was accidental, others strongly suspect foul play in her death. It should be also noted that Tamla was the only black parent there.
Now, an attorney for Tamla’s family says his own independent investigation supports those concerns and that his review of the evidence “reflects that homicide is a strong possibility,” according to WSBTV.
Attorney Ralph Fernadez said his office has done an exhaustive review of the case and believes the mother was killed and that it appears that she was involved in some sort of struggle prior to her death. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office announced last February they were closing the case because investigators had found no evidence of foul play in Tamla’s death.
“It appears Tamla was involved in a struggle. There were abrasions consistent with that scenario. There were parallel scratches to one arm. Since they were fresh, photos would not have proven recent use of defensive force,” the letter said. “There was one x-ray, yet the injury noted as the cause of death appears nowhere.”
Fernandez also laid out a number of issues he had with how the case was initially investigated.
“Witness statements are in conflict. A potential subject handled the body as well as the evidence prior to law enforcement arriving. Evidence was disposed of and no inquiry followed.The scene was not preserved,” Fernandez’s letter said. “A remarkable fact is that there were no photographs taken during the autopsy of Tamla’s body.This had to have been done at someone’s directive because such a practice is unheard of.”
In the letter, Fernandez also used the Ahmaud Arbery case to highlight what he feels are longstanding issues when it comes to law enforcement investigating the deaths of black people.
“Here we are fighting an uphill battle because those who wear the badges were entrusted with the investigatory task, failed you. But this is not over,” Fernandez wrote.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:
“The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the death of Tamla Horsford. Evidence from the incident along with the findings from the Georgia Medical Examiner’s Office was utilized to come to the conclusion of the case. At the request of the family, we took another look into the evidence and also had an independent agency, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, look over the findings. No additional information was found. In a continued effort to remain transparent, we welcome any new information from the Attorney’s Office handling the case for the family. To date, we have received none. We’re prepared to have an independent Investigative authority such as, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, to reopen the investigation if new information is provided.”
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