More than two weeks ago, an Alabama Department of Corrections officer died due to an asthma attack after being exposed to mace on the job. The officer’s family still has not heard from ADOC.
The officer was Yashea Chapel and she worked at Donaldson Correctional Facility. APR spoke to Chapel’s mother, Betty Davidson, who said that her daughter had asthma. Davidson said it was incarcerated individuals who contacted her about what occurred to Chapel that likely caused her death.
Davidson stated that she was informed that on Nov. 9, another officer at Donaldson maced an incarcerated individual like a “cockroach.” Chapel was in the vicinity when this happened and it caused her to have an asthma attack, forcing her to leave the job. Davidson said she was unaware at the time because Chapel did not tell her about the incident.
Chapel would survive until the following day, during which Davidson told APR she was eventually contacted on Nov. 10 that her daughter was hospitalized and passed away. Davidson said she went to the hospital, the Walker Baptist Medical Center, and the doctor told her Chapel’s death looked like the result of an anaphylactic asthma attack.
“I know it was the mace,” Davidson said. “That mace needs to be removed.”
The mace used is called Sabre Red Mace. Davidson said she was hoping to have an autopsy done, but her daughter was embalmed without her permission, and due to that, any evidence to show why she passed is likely erased.
Chapel had two children, a 5-year-old and a 4-month-old. On Monday, Davidson informed APR that she received the death certificate which revealed even more heartbreaking news: Chapel was also pregnant at the time of her death.
“That mace didn’t take one life; it took two lives,” Davidson said. “My daughter was pregnant.”
It has been over two weeks since Chapel’s death and ADOC still has not contacted Davidson about her daughter’s death. Davidson said she feels like they are trying to “sweep her daughter up under the rug.” Chapel was apparently well-loved by the incarcerated and her co-workers, according to Davidson, yet she is shocked that ADOC still has not said anything about Chapel’s passing.
APR also reached out to ADOC regarding Chapel’s death and has not received a response yet.