Smith described himself as a prime mover in efforts to oust Waller County’s sheriff, Glenn Smith, from his previous role as Hempstead’s police chief.
Family and friends sought more details Thursday about the death of a black woman who authorities say hung herself in a Texas jail after her arrest for allegedly kicking an officer during a traffic stop.
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. The Texas Rangers are investigating the circumstances surrounding Bland’s death Monday, July 13, 2015 in a Waller Co…
Bland was found dead in a jail cell in Waller County on Monday morning.
“Based on the Sandy that I knew, that’s unfathomable to me”, Bland’s sister, Sharon Cooper, said at a press conference in Chicago on Thursday. She studied at the College of Agriculture at Prairie View A&M University, a historically black school 40 miles northwest of Houston.
In the past few weeks, Bland applied for a community outreach job at Prairie View A&M with the family and consumer sciences section of its cooperative extension program. She had a voice and following on social media for speaking out about racial injustice and police brutality and was active in her community. She posted videos related to the “Black Lives Matter” movement on Facebook. I say all of this to say that we must be careful about how we talk about suicide and its victims.
Around halfway through the series, on March 1, she began a video by apologizing for a two-week absence. If there’s no medical record or history of Bland having been diagnosed or treated for depression or PTSD there is reason for concern especially when her close friends and loved one have no memory of her presenting symptoms of either.
Bland had spent most of her adult life in Waller County before she moved to Chicago two years ago for a job, Wilson said, and she was looking forward to returning to Texas to work for her alma mater.
Friends and family of a 28-year-old African-American woman who died while in a Texas jail say her death, which local authorities have ruled a suicide, is suspicious.
“We know that people are mad”, said the family’s lawyer Cannon Lambert Sr.
But friends say that’s just not possible.
The police can be heard in the video ordering the bystander capturing the footage to leave, as reported by ABC7Chicago. The sheriff’s office has also asked the FBI to join the investigation. He also said that although jail video didn’t show what went on in Bland’s cell, it showed no one went in or out of it from the time she was placed there until a jailer found her unconscious.
As elsewhere in Texas, cemeteries in Waller County have long followed an unofficial pattern of segregation: whites are buried with whites, blacks are buried with blacks. The state agency found the jail was not checking all inmates at least once an hour, as required by law. He appears to have his knees on her back. She seemed to be in pain.
She can be heard yelling that she can’t feel her arm or hear.
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.
Meanwhile, the confrontation last Friday with the state trooper, who pulled Bland over for not signaling, was argumentative at best.
She had been pulled over Friday for failing to signal a lane change and was arrested on a charge of assaulting a public servant. She said she had been “real stressed out”.
“You just slammed my head into the ground”. Do you care about That?
The Associated Press could not independently verify that the video is of Bland’s arrest, but the images are consistent with information the family gleaned from Bland’s jailhouse phone call.
Mathis did state that he thought it was odd for someone who had “everything going for her” to take her own life.