Last Friday, July 10th, Sandra Bland was pulled over for failing to use her turn signal. 72 hours later, she was found dead, in her Waller County, jail cell. We, the public, are being told, that she committed suicide, by hanging herself, with a trash bag. This is the same jail, that another inmate, James Howell, age 29, supposedly hung himself in 2012.
In the video below, shot by a passerby, police have Sandra on the ground, and she is being heard saying, they slammed her head into the concrete, and that she couldn't hear out of one of her ears. She also states that she can't feel her arm. The policeman walks in the direction of the citizen filming the video, and tells him he needs to leave. He states that he is on public property and continues filming. Sandra is then picked up off the ground, and as she is being led to the police car, she tells the citizen that she thanks him for filming, and to be sure to spread the video around, so the public will know firsthand, how she was treated.
Ms. Bland came Texas that weekend, from Illinois, because she was interviewing for a position, with Prairie View A&M University. She contacted her family shortly after, and let them know that she'd gotten the position, and was supposed to begin work this week.
Sadly, that never happened, because she died while in police custody, in Hempstead,Texas. We are being asked to believe that a woman who was looking forward to a new job and a bright future, all of a sudden became so overwhelmed and depressed, that she took her own life, over being incarcerated for a traffic violation? At 28 yrs old? Oh. Okay. Are we to also believe that she hung herself with a plastic trash bag, with a dislocated and/or fractured shoulder. The information about her shoulder, was conveyed to the public, by her family, after speaking with her on the phone. She said she was in pain, and believed that her shoulder may have been fractured. We can also hear her saying she couldn't feel her arm in the video. Do you know how hard you have to be slammed to the ground for your hearing to go out and to not be able to feel your arm? Minor traffic violations do not usually require you to even step out of the car, unless you have a warrant, and she did not. There is so much to this story that does not add up.
The Senior officer at the center of this investigation is Sheriff Glenn Smith, who was hired by the Waller Police department, shortly after he was fired, from the Hempstead Police Department, over allegations of racism and brutality charges, against young black males. Small towns like Hempstead, have long had a reputation for being "good ole boy" counties. Most of us have experienced the bias and prejudice of "driving while black", first hand.
While protesters were praying in front of the Waller jail, earlier this morning, this truck drove by. It speaks to the indifference, hatred, and bigotry we face too often. And then people have the audacity to ask, "why are you offended?" Why do you think?!
This young woman, 18 yr old Kindra Chapman, was also found hanging in her Alabama jail cell on Tuesday, July 11, less than 24 hours after the "alleged suicide" of Ms. Bland. Are we supposed to believe, that suddenly, we have a string of young suicidal black women, hanging themselves in jail cells? People tell us all the time that slavery is over, and we should stop talking about it, get over it, and move on. To those people I say, slavery is not over, it has just evolved.
Sandra, an activist in her own right, speaks to us below, in her own words, via her Facebook page.
I will no longer sit idly by, feeling helpless and being silent. Tomorrow I, too, will be at the Waller County jail asking #WhatREALLYHappenedToSandraBland?
Monday and Tuesday, it was someone else's child, tomorrow, it could be mine or yours.
It is sad and unfortunate that we even have to make such disclaimers, but this is "our" reality.