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The Mysterious Death of African American Woman Sandra Bland Who Died in Police Custody: Was it Really Suicide?

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Sandra Bland

The mysterious death of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman who died in police custody three days after she was arrested, is currently a hot topic.

Her death has been ruled a suicide but many are asking, did she really kill herself or did the police have a hand in killing her and then orchestrating an elaborate cover up? This is the question America and the world are demanding answers to.

Here is the background of the story:

Sandra, who is from Chicago and had gone to Texas to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, was arrested after she was stopped on July 10 for “failure to signal a lane change,” New York Times reports.

A video made public revealed that there was a shouting match and struggle between the officer and Sandra.

The Arrest

The video shows the officer ordering Sandra out of the car and threatening her with a stun gun. “I will light you up,” the officer says.

Before Sandra got out of the car, the confrontation had gotten heated, as Sandra refused to obey the officer’s directive, asking her  to put out a cigarette.

The video shows the officer standing outside the driver’s door and explaining to Sandra that she was being written up for failing to signal a lane change.

“You seem very irritated,” he said.

“I am, I really am,” she said. She said she had pulled over to get out of his way and was now getting stopped and written up because of it.

“You mind putting out your cigarette?” he asked.

“I’m in my own car. I don’t have to put out my cigarette,” she said.

When he ordered her out of the car, she refused.

“I’m going to yank you out,” he shouted.

Shortly after, Sandra was outside the car shouting insults and obscenities, and the trooper had her in handcuffs.

In part of the encounter that occurred out of the camera’s view, a scuffle can be heard, and Sandra said she was on the ground. “You just slammed me, knocked my head into the ground,” she said.

She the says “I got epilepsy,” and the officer says, “good.”

The Affidavit

The officer described Sandra as “combative and uncooperative…Bland began swinging her elbows at me and then kicked my right leg in the shin. I had a pain in my right leg and suffered small cuts on my right hand…”

Sandra’s Death

The Waller County sheriff’s office affirmed that “Bland appeared in good health when she was booked and placed in Cell 95 in a housing area for women in the one-story jail. “

However, the authorities further stated:

“A jailer making rounds found her hanging in her 15-by-20-foot cell shortly after 9 a.m. on July 13. Waller County officials said Ms. Bland had been found in a “semi-standing position,” hanged with a plastic trash-can liner affixed to a U-shaped metal hook. Jail officials and emergency medical personnel placed her on the floor and unsuccessfully administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation before she was pronounced dead at 9:16 a.m. The liner had been taken from the trash container in her cell.”

Unanswered Questions

And so the question still remains, how did Sandra die? The circumstanced under which she died are extremely suspicious.

Sandra was said to have been dealing with depression at some point in her life. According to reports, she posted a video  on her Facebook page in March saying she was experiencing “a little bit of depression as well as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).” However, family members say they had no reason to believe she was seriously troubled.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Moremi Elekwachi is a Brand Communications expert with over 13 years of experience both locally and internationally. She is the CEO of Euphorique PR, a full-service Public Relations & Marketing Communications agency that helps clients achieve maximum visibility and impact through innovative strategies that cut through the noise. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia, and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Communications from the University of Southern California, in addition to a certification in Integrated Brand Experience from Orange Academy. Prior to establishing Euphorique PR, she worked at prestigious media companies including Wondros (Los Angeles, CA), Wildflower PR, and BellaNaija, where she served as Assistant Editor and Business Development Manager.

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