By now, you’ve all probably heard of the 28-year-old woman who mysteriously died in a Texas jail cell just days after being arrested by state police. #SandraBland has since become a trending topic on Twitter and other social media outlets, and people want answers.
But in case you aren’t familiar with this budding story, here are the facts surrounding Sandra’s case, as reported by The Root:
On Thursday, July 9, Sandra Bland drove from her hometown of Naperville, Ill to Texas to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M. A day later, police stopped Bland just minutes away from the A&M campus for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes. Authorities claim that she was “combative” during the stop and proceeded to drag her out of her car and slam her to the ground.
She was arrested and charged with “assault on a public servant.”
Malcolm Johnson, a friend of Bland’s who witnessed the encounter, told ABC 7 that the arresting officers were aggressive throughout the entire stop.
“After he pulled her out of the car, [he] forced her and tossed her to the ground, knee to the neck, and arrested her,” Johnson said.
A video recording of the arrest has been circulating the internet, and from both the imagery and the dialogue in the clip, it’s clear that Bland was injured and the officers was using unnecessary force during the arresst.
An officer can be heard telling the person recording to leave, while Bland yells out:
“You just slammed my head into the ground! 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!”
Bland also complained that he couldn’t feel her arm.
“Jailers” reportedly 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. 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 Bland was found unresponsive in her cell and that she was pronounced dead moments later.
On Wednesday afternoon, a small group of Bland’s friends held a protest in front of the Waller County jail, which is 50 miles south of Houston. Family members say they intend to bring her body back to Illinois for burial when authorities release it.
Texas state rangers are “reportedly” investigating the matter, but have failed to comment on the video that’s gone viral online. According to USA Today, the FBI has since joined in on the investigation, but family members believe that not much is being done to find out what really happened to Sandra in that jail cell.
And I agree.
Does it make sense that a woman who seemed as healthy and strong as Sandra would commit suicide in the mist of the kind of social injustice that she often spoke out about? Or is it more likely that just like the case of Freddie Gray, she suffered from tremendous injuries that were inflicted during her seemingly unjust arrest?
I don’t know…but something aint’ right. #WhatReallyHappenedToSandraBland