Sandra Bland was stopped Friday by authorities in Waller County, Texas for a traffic violation. In a video of her arrest, while being forcibly held face down, Ms. Bland can clearly be heard saying to the officer, “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that?” As she’s being picked up off the ground and placed into the police vehicle, Ms. Bland can be heard again, this time thanking the person recording the video, saying, “Thank you for recording.”
Bland was arrested and booked on
“assault of a public servant” charges.
A police statement says the following Monday morning Ms. Bland was released on a $5,000 bond, and was subsequently “found dead” by a female jailer who was “worried” about her recreation time.
Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith claims this was a case of self-inflicted asphyxiation. An autopsy performed Tuesday showed Bland’s death “has been classified as a suicide, with the cause of death (listed as) hanging,” according to Tricia Bentley, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston.
Hanged. Suicide. A young 28-year old woman who was moving to Texas to begin working her dream job suddenly decided to commit suicide, supposedly because of a small traffic infraction?
Ms. Bland’s friends and family feel that the police’s story doesn’t add up. For one thing, the odd quickness with which everything seemed to escalate seems off. In a matter of 72 hours Bland went from being pulled over for a minor traffic violation, to being arrested for assaulting a cop, and then to killing herself, according to the police’s story. There’s also the fact that Bland is black, and Waller county has a history of discriminatory law enforcement behavior.
The police are lying again.