originally published: 14 July 2022
Sandra Bland was only 28-years-old when she was found dead in her cell at Waller County Jail on July 13, 2015. Now, on the seventh anniversary of her death, online users and media publications are still saying her name.
On July 10, 2015 Texas trooper Brian Encinia pulled over Bland, a Black woman and Prairie View A&M alum. At the time, Bland was driving in from Illinois to Prarie View to start a job at the university.
Encinia pulled over Bland for failing to signal a lane change, and things verbally escalated into a tense exchange wherein Bland’s cell phone and police dashcam footage detailed parts of the encounter.
While absent from the recordings, Encinia claimed Bland assaulted him. What the footage did capture was the trooper threatening Bland with his taser because she didn’t want to get out of her car.
A recording also showed Encinia knocking Bland to the ground and her stating that she had epilepsy. The trooper arrested Bland on a charge of assaulting a police officer. Days later, she was found dead by hanging in her cell at Waller County Jail on the morning of July 13.
The autopsy ruled her death a suicide.