#IfIDieInPoliceCustody – Family Demands Answers, Investigation into Son’s Death in Florida Jail

Greetings friends, family, and comrades,

I write as a longtime member of Reconstruction, Inc. and at the request of Hakim Ali.

Travis Hartsfield, with his children.

This past week, a member of the Reconstruction, Inc. extended family was “found” dead in a jail cell in Desoto County, Florida. Travis Hartsfield––son of Sharrone Hartsfield and great nephew of Reconstruction’s founder William Goldsby––was brought into custody on Monday, August 1st. On Friday, August 5th, Travis spoke with his mother and made plans for her visit the following week. The day Ms. Sharrone was supposed to visit, she was notified by the jail that her son was dead. He had been in custody for eight days.

To date, Ms. Sharonne has been un able to get information about her son’s last hours. The Arcadian reported that Desoto County Sheriff’s Office ruled Travis’ death a suicide. Ms. Sharrone knows her son. Travis loved her, and was eagerly anticipating his release in a couple of weeks. He would not take his own life. That sentiment has been echoed in comments on The Arcadian’s Facebook wall by friends, family and concerned citizens alike.

Ms. Sharrone has asked Reconstruction, Inc. to help her family get answers.

Here’s what you can do:

(1) SHARE. Travis’ family has asked for this post to be shared widely through social media. There is currently nothing being written or aired about Travis’ death, save the short story at The Arcadian. Any movement towards answers and investigation will depend upon the attention we can put on Travis’ case.

(2) CALL. Travis’ family wants to put pressure on the Desoto County Sheriff’s Office to release information about the circumstances surrounding Travis’ death. You can contact the Sheriff William P. Wise’s Office and the Desoto County Jail at:

(863) 993-4700 – Main Admin Building
(863) 993-4710 – Jail Direct Line

After you call, please send an email to hakim002[at]aol.com to log the information you received.

(3) WRITE. Travis’ family is asking for journalists and researchers in the Reconstruction, Inc. network to dig, inquire, and report on the circumstances surrounding Travis’ arrest, confinement, and death. Hakim Ali can answer questions and provide contact information for the family.

We will update this note as further action steps are identified.

For now, we thank you for your time, your support, your voice, and your love.
–All of us at Reconstruction, Inc.


Here is a message from Travis’ mom, Ms. Sharrone:

“…My name is Sharrone Hartsfield, my son was lynched on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016. He was in Desoto County Jail in Florida. We cannot get a media voice.

My son’s name is Travis Hartsfield, and he is 30 years old.Travis was doing what he needed to move forward, which meant a brief jail sentence for a minor offense.This was suppose to be freeing, no more roadblocks. He had planned to try traveling around, making new choices and just seeing what a difference he could make.

I last spoke with him that Friday night. He said, “I’m straight. I will see you on Tuesday for visitation,” and said, “I Love You.” This is why I could not understand when jail officials came to my house to inform me that my son had expired.

It’s like I’m in deep hole, and I’m screaming for answers and no one is listening. Instead, they started covering up the hole. Tray (what we all called him) deserves justice. Any assistance and knowledge would be appreciated…”


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