The Waller County Sherriff’s office said in the statement that during her arrest, an emergency response team was called, but Bland refused to be examined.
Her family isn’t buying it.
At a news conference Thursday, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said it would be up to a grand jury to decide the importance of that video.
Sadly, knowing will never bring Sandra Bland back, but maybe it will help the next innocent stranger driving through Wallen County Texas. Authorities say she hung herself.
To some on Twitter, her death sounds too much like the death of Freddie Gray, whose death after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody sparked mass protests in Baltimore in April. Sandra Bland was outspoken about social justice and racism on her Facebook page, and produced a series of videos called Sandy Speaks. “It’s a daily test”, she said.
ABC reports that Bland had been offered, and had accepted, the job she was in the area to interview for.
He did not return messages left later asking about the video in which Bland talked about being depressed.
A release from the sheriff’s office said Bland was found “not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation”.
Fired from Hempstead for racism and misconduct in 2007, Smith blamed the firing on “small town politics” and ran for sheriff in Waller County in 2008 and won. Restores dropped word in last paragraph.
Questions about the treatment of black Americans has yet again come to the fore after a 28-year-old woman was discovered dead after she spent a weekend in a Texas jail. In it, an officer is seen pinning a woman to the ground with one knee. She asks the officer why he slammed her head into the ground over a traffic violation.
“If I receive information that there’s something nefarious going on or foul play, we will certainly get to the bottom of that”, Mathis said. Relatives are questioning that account.
She was in Texas because she was headed to a new job at her Alma Matter Prairie A&M, a historically black college.
A friend of Bland’s, Malcolm Jackson, witnessed the encounter and told ABC7 that the police used excessive force during the entirety of the traffic stop. A coroner in Texas has classified Bland’s death as suicide by hanging.
The Texas Commission of Jail Standards cited the Waller County jail three years ago for improperly monitoring prisoners. In 2012, the Houston Chronicle reported that James Harper Howell IV hung himself after spending about a week in jail following his arrest for assault and marijuana possession.
On Wednesday, bystander footage of Bland’s arrest was released prompting calls by supporters of Bland for a US Department of Justice investigation into her death.
“This family is really looking to understand what happened”, Lambert said. Bland herself posted a video earlier this year in which she remarked, “This thing I’m holding in my hand, this telephone, this camera…is quite powerful”.
Scroll down to read social media posts. And her profile picture is one sentence: “Now Legalize Being Black in America”. Her Facebook cover photo is a cartoon drawing that shows a handcuffed black man, bloodied and beaten, in the back of a police cruiser seated next to white supremacist Dylann Roof, who is eating a hamburger. She was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. On Friday, July 10, she was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change.
“Anyone who knows Sandy Bland knows she has a thirst for life”, Mosley told KPRC. She says, “she was very upset”. However, her family and friends suspect foul play.
Dean also said she fears crossing through Waller County in light of Bland’s fate.
Sharon Cooper, one of Bland’s sisters, told reporters Thursday it was “unfathomable” that her sister would kill herself. “She was someone who was extremely spontaneous, spunky, outgoing truly filled with life and joy and so when you think through the circumstances that have been shared with us to this point”. Bland was found dead Monday in a Waller County jail cell in Hempstead, about 60 miles northwest of Houston.
Texas Department of Public Safety trooper and spokesman Erik Burse told the Chicago Tribune that Bland was outside of her vehicle and about to be issued a written warning when she allegedly kicked the officer and was then arrested.