For Michelle Dalton, responding to a ‘how are you’ is even tough some days.
She says uncontrollable emotions born from the unexpected death of her daughter are amplified by the unknowns.
“It’s harder not knowing what happened,” said Michelle Dalton.
The case of her daughter Donna Castleberry, grew from a brief mention on the local news to national headlines eventually sparking a federal investigation into the Columbus Police Department’s vice squad, police procedure and undercover vice officer Andrew Mitchell. Mitchell says he shot and killed Castleberry in self-defense during an undercover prostitution sting in August and he was just relieved of his duties last week.
Dalton says it provided brief relief.
“It was like a deep sigh. Finally,” she said.
But she says questions remain about the circumstances behind her death.
“Even if she stabbed him in the hand. She didn’t deserve to be shot 8 times,” said Dalton.
Dalton finds peace knowing answers will lead to change.
“A resolution at CPD would let me rest easier knowing that I got justice for Donna,” she said.
But she fears resolution won’t come soon enough.
“Knowing we have some justice will lighten that load a little bit. Not much but I’d like to know before I pass on. What really happened to her,” she said.
Dalton’s family is working with advocacy group Showing Up For Racial Justice, or SURJ, for a demonstration at Columbus Police Headquarters planned for October 23rd. Columbus Police aren’t responding to questions about specifics in there case until investigations are complete.