Sandra Bland was a 28 year old black woman from Naperville, Illinois who was set to start a new job at her alma mater Texas Prairie View A & M when she was pulled over for improper signaling a lane change, arrested and then found dead three days later in her Texas jail cell.
An officer pulled Bland over on Friday, July 10th for failing to signal a lane change, according to Waller County Sheriff’s Department officials. Bland was removed from the car and reportedly thrown to the ground.
“After he pulled her out of the car, forced her and tossed her to the ground, knee to the neck, and arrested her,” says her friend Malcom Jackson.
There is video of Bland face down on the ground and the officer on her back. Bland can be heard saying “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear!”
Bland was arrested and charged with “Assault on a Public Servant” and taken to a Waller County jail by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.
Three days later on Monday around 9:00 am, Bland was found dead, hanging in her jail cell. The sheriff’s office stated that she died from “what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” but Bland’s family and friends aren’t buying it. They want to know what happened in that jail. Bland was described as “a warm, affectionate, outspoken woman” excited about starting her new job in student outreach and would have never taken her own life.
An autopsy on Tuesday ruled Bland’s death a suicide, but her family wants federal authorities to take over the case and do a full investigation. Many are asking, how did a routine traffic stop end in death? An online petition has also been created calling for the Justice Department to take over the investigation. An official investigation needs to be performed outside the jurisdiction of Waller County Sheriff’s Department where Bland was found dead.
Again we are forced to witness police brutality at its worst and grieve for the untimely loss of yet another black life. Protests for Bland’s death have already ensued and if justice is not served, the protests will continue until police reform happens and “justice for all” no longer has stipulations.
#JusticeForSandy #BlackLivesMatter #SandraBland