source: ESSENCE News
published: 19 November 2018
On July 13, 2015, the unthinkable happened to the family of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old who was a “bright, beautiful, outspoken, bold, caring, loving and intelligent individual,” says her sister Shante Needham.
Three days after being arrested during a routine traffic stop, Bland was found hanging in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. She had been pulled over by state trooper Brian Encinia, who told her it was because she had failed to signal a lane change. Later, dashcam footage would reveal Encinia asking Bland to put out her cigarette.
When she declined, he grew irate, demanded that she get out of her vehicle and then threatened to drag her out and use his stun gun. When she finally did exit her car, he proceeded to take her into custody in a rough manner. She ended up on the ground in the process.
Bland was charged with assaulting a public servant and placed in a cell that, unlike others, didn’t have video cameras. She made several phone calls from jail to family members and friends to help secure her bail. Days later Bland was dead. Her cause of death was ruled a suicide.
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