Rally held on anniversary of Chappell’s death

BROWNSTOWN —A rally was held by the family of Ta’Neasha Chappell, the 23-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, woman who was an inmate at the Jackson County Jail last summer, on Saturday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of her death.

Around 30 friends and family of Chappell, with some traveling from Louisville and some local, gathered in the parking lot of the jail to pray, release balloons and demand justice for her death.

The rally eventually led to a march through Brownstown and a demonstration outside Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.

Chappell died July 16, 2021, at Schneck after becoming ill at the jail the previous day.

Chappell’s family filed a $30 million lawsuit against Sheriff Rick Meyer and eight jail employees regarding the care she received leading up to her death.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant released his findings into the investigation into the death of Chappell last December that said she did not die due to any crimes committed by any inmates or employees at the jail.

An autopsy report said the manner of Chappell’s death was undetermined. A toxicologist listed the cause of death as probable toxicity, but the substance couldn’t be determined, so the cause of death remained undetermined.

LaVita McClain, Chappell’s mother, said a purpose of the rally was to continue the fight for accountability for her daughter’s death.

“We wanted to be out here to let them know that we ain’t backing down,” she said. “We want the truth, and we want people to stand accountable for what they did to my daughter.”

McClain said her favorite things about her daughter were her smile, personality, presence, and how she said “I love you” to everyone.

A song played during the rally was created by the immediate family of Chappell.

Ronesha Murrell, Chappell’s sister, said the last year has been very frustrating because she felt no one has been held accountable and no one has lost their job.

She said accountability for her would mean criminal charges brought against jail staff.

Twand Howard of Louisville said Chappell was his little sister, and it was worth traveling from his city to Brownstown in her honor.

“We’ve got to be here for her,” he said. “She’d be here for me if it happened to me.”

A butterfly flew by Howard, and he said he felt Chappell around him because her nickname was “Bugg.”

Andrea Walton of Seymour said she has attended rallies at the Jackson County Courthouse and outside the Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Indianapolis and felt more county residents should be active in demanding justice for Chappell’s death.

“It’s a very touchy situation,” she said. “I think it’s very sad for her but also for her family and her daughter. I just feel like people in our community should be involved because this happened in our county.”