Yet another police force is under the microscope after another black person’s mysterious death.
Friends and family received news that 28-year-old Sandra Bland died in a prison cell in Waller County, Texas. First, what authorities told them about her death raised suspicions amongst them. Now, according to ABC, a video of her arrest challenges the circumstances under why she was brought into custody in the first place.
The Chicago native should have been starting her new job at Texas Prairie View A&M. She drove to her alma mater from Naperville, Ill. for an interview and received an offer. Days before her first day of work (July 10), Texas police pulled her over near the university for failure to signal while switching lanes. What happened between this moment and a state trooper charging her with “Assault on a Public Servant” remained unclear. That is, until a video shot by a witness surfaced.
A male bystander told ABC that she was “tossed” to the ground by multiple police officers. He was shooting a video of the arrest until a trooper forced him to leave the scene.
“You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear,” Bland is heard saying in the video.
Before her arrest, Bland posted frequently to social media addressing the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Complaints from other users did not stop her. And instances of police brutality fueled her speeches.
Authorities brought her into custody because, as Waller County Sheriff R Glenn Smith told ABC, “she had been combative on the side of the road.”
Bland suffocated to death on Monday morning (July 13). Police suspect she committed suicide after they found her unconscious in her cell, Sheriff Smith released in a statement.
Prison officials and Texas Rangers are investigating further. Those who knew her doubt Bland’s death was a suicide and search for answers to this tragic case.
Watch the video of Bland’s arrest on ABC or right here.