Two Atlanta girls basketball coaches, LaRosa Maria Walker-Asekere and Dwight Palmer, are facing murder charges in the death of 16-year-old Imani Bell.
Imani was a high school junior, who loved basketball and dreamed of one day attending Stanford.
Sadly, in August 2019, Imani Bell died of heatstroke while running the stairs at her high school football stadium.
Despite receiving a weather advisory, the two coaches held the outdoor conditioning practice in 97 degree heat with a heat index of 103 degrees.
Imani’s father Eric Bell literally watched his daughter die in the hospital.
He got choked up as he recanted the traumatic experience.
The doctors worked on her for about… bout 45 minutes to an hour.
And… her body just couldn’t take it anymore.
We was like, keep working keep working!
And, he was like… we can’t… it’s!… The body’s not responding anymore.
You know that’s just a memory that I will never forget.
I replay it everyday, and you know it’s just kind of… it’s tough!
Imani’s autopsy revealed no underlying medical issues, she died of hyperthermia, commonly known as heatstroke.
State athletic regulations ban any outdoor workouts above 92 degrees.
One hour before practice the school district sent a warning to all schools.
No sports or clubs should be outside…
Imani’s father, whose also a basketball coach, said he cancelled his practice that day because it was too hot outside.
At the end of the day, only one thing counts and that’s to get that child back home to their parents.
Prosecutors blame Imani’s former coaches, LaRosa Maria Walker-Asekere and Dwight Palmer, for her death.
They blatantly disobeyed the state athletic regulations ban, and they put all of the girls running the stairs lives at risk that day.
They both face charges of second-degree murder charge and cruelty to children in the second-degree.
Eric Bell hopes the charges lead to justice and safety for other kids.
Watch the “CBS This Morning” news report below:
Our prayers go out to the Bell family. #JusticeForImani