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Death in custody: Black woman Sandra Bland dead in Texas jail cell after traffic stop – TomoNews
HEMPSTEAD, TEXAS — African American civil rights activist Sandra Bland was found dead in her Waller County jail cell on Monday. Questions have been raised about the cause of death, which has initially been ruled a suicide. Sheriff’s deputies said Bland, 28, died of “self-inflicted asphyxiation” in her cell.
Bland was pulled over for failing to use her turn signal shortly after leaving her job at Prairie View A&M University on Friday. Police say she was arrested for assaulting an officer after kicked a cop who was writing her a ticket. Video footage of the arrest shows two officers on top of Bland, while she yells about their use of excessive force and the injuries she has sustained from their treatment. One of the officers tells the person recording the video to leave, and Bland can be heard thanking the person for recording the video.
She made several phone calls while she was in jail, including to her sister, who said she complained of having a fractured arm, and to a bail bondsman to see about getting freed on bail.
A Facebook video of Bland has been cited where she admits to suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, but Bland’s family and friends suspect that she may have been killed. Bland had recently moved from Chicago to work at her alma mater.
She would frequently post videos and images online relating to the Black Lives Matter movement. The online reaction to Bland’s death has been mixed, as everyone awaits the results of the investigation, which is being conducted by the Texas Rangers and the FBI.
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