We have been following many stories of police brutality on Black men, but now America has its eyes on the mysterious death of a young Black woman who died after being arrested for a traffic stop in Texas.
Earlier this month, 28-year-old Sandra Bland of Naperville, Ill. drove to Texas for a job interview at her former college, Texas Prairie View A&M. On July 10, Bland was stopped just outside of the campus for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes.
Police claim that during the stop she became violent and was charged with “assault on a public servant.” However after Bland’s arrest, she never lived to tell her side of the story.
Via The Root:
On July 13, around 9 a.m., before her family could bail her out, Bland would be found dead inside a Waller County, Texas jail. Police claim that she died from “self-inflicted asphyxiation,” her family and friends say that is impossible; that the woman they know who fought strongly against police brutality and had just received a new job, would have never committed suicide.
“I do suspect foul play,” friend, Cheryl Nanton told ABC 7. “I believe that we are all 100 percent in belief that she did not do harm to herself.”
Video obtained by ABC 7 of Bland’s arrest, doesn’t appear to show Bland being combative with officers but does show two officers on top of Bland, who can be heard questioning the officer’s methods of restraint.
“You just slammed my head into the ground,” Bland can be heard saying on the recording. “Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear.” As she is being escorted to the police car in handcuffs Bland can be heard yelling, “slammed me to the ground and everything.”
Shortly after, an officer can be heard telling the person recording the incident that they needed to leave.
Malcom Jackson, a friend of Bland’s who witnessed the encounter, told the news station that the police were forceful during the entirety of the traffic stop.
“After he pulled her out of the car, forced her and tossed her to the ground, knee to the neck, and arrested her,” he said.
Waller County sheriff Glenn Smith told ABC 7 that during the traffic stop, Bland became combative with the officer and was arrested and charged with assault.
Smith told the news station that, “jailers saw Bland at 7 a.m. Monday when they gave her breakfast and again at 8 a.m. when they spoke with her over the jail intercom. Smith says she was found dead an hour later.”
In a press release from the sheriff’s department viewed by ABC 7, authorities claim that CPR was performed shortly after finding Bland unresponsive in her cell and that she was pronounced dead moments later.
“I do not have any information that would make me think it was anything other than just a suicide,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis told ABC 7.
Bland’s friends told the news station that the woman they know who was excited about starting her new job on Wednesday July 15, and she would have never taken her own life.
What happened to Sandra Bland?! This story makes no sense at all. Foul play is greatly suspected.