Sen. Royce West is one of two African American members of the 31-member Texas Senate.
Bland was from the Chicago area, and her family there is now closely watching the investigation.
West noted that Bland’s death “comes months and weeks into what seems to be an unabated season of unfortunate police-citizen encounters”. “That’s why it’s very important that the Texas Rangers be allowed to conduct a thorough investigation”. When one Waller County justice of the peace, DeWayne Charleston, attempted to bury the body of a brutally slain white woman in a black cemetery, his plea was overturned by Waller County Judge Owen Ralston.
Some people all over the country simply are not buying Bland took her own life even though investigators say that’s exactly what happened. “Once the investigation is complete the matter will be turned over to a Waller County grand jury for any further proceedings deemed appropriate by them”.
In March, Bland had posted a video to her Facebook page acknowledging she was suffering from “a little bit of depression as well as PTSD”, or post-traumatic stress disorder. They said the 28-year-old gave no indication she was in such an emotional state that she would kill herself.
In a press release, the sheriff’s office reported that Bland had died of “what appeared to be self-inflicted asphyxiation”, and chalked up her death to suicide.
The Waller County Police Department and Hempstead Police Department declined The Independent’s request to comment.
According to the sheriff’s department, Bland was arrested for assaulting a public servant. Jackson asserts that “After he pulled her out of the auto, he forced her and tossed her to the ground, knee to the neck, and arrested her”. She said she had been “real stressed out”.
“You just slammed my head into the ground”, Bland can be heard saying on the recording.
In her last Facebook video, she eerily addressed the youth saying, “It’s time y’all… this thing that I’m holding in my hand, this telephone, this camera, it’s quite powerful”. Relatives are questioning that account.
Bland reportedly told Needham during the call that she did not know why she had been arrested.
The Texas jail under scrutiny for the death of a woman found hanging in her cell was cited three years ago by a state agency for improperly monitoring prisoners.
This tweet by Sandra’s cousin shows that depression is uncommonly high for those in Wallen County Jail on minor traffic offenses, like that of James Harper Howell, IV last November. Smith said jailers had used an intercom to check on Bland less than an hour before she was found dead.
“This family is really looking to understand what happened”, Lambert said during the news conference.
Many posts have featured #SandySpeaks, which refers to the hashtag Bland had used in monologues she posted on Facebook. In the videos, Bland describes feeling called by God to speak out against racism and injustice.
In place of a profile picture she had posted the statement: “Now legalize being black in America”. By 9 a.m., she was dead.
The family of Jonathan Sanders, killed by police officer Kevin Herrington in Stonewall, Mississippi on July 8, asserts that it was a racially motivated killing. She says, “she was very upset”. A witness told the attorneys that after Sanders, a horse trainer, left in his horse-drawn buggy, Herrington said “I’m gonna get that n****r”. She graduated from there in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and was set to go work for the school’s cooperative extension on August 3, said university spokesman Yolanda Bevill.
The Harris County medical examiner classified her death as suicide by hanging, but few details of her death were released. “To know Sandy was to love her”, Sharon Cooper, one of Bland’s four sisters, said during a Chicago news conference Thursday.
Supporters – in Illinois, Texas and across the US – are using the social media hashtags #SandraBland and #JusticeForSandy to ask federal authorities to look into Bland’s death. Bland was found dead Monday in a Waller County jail cell in Hempstead, about 60 miles northwest of Houston.
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.