Amy Goodman

Outrage Grows After Mysterious Death of #BlackLivesMatter Activist Sandra Bland in Texas Jail

2015-07-17T02:33:43-07:00

"Democracy Now!" airs weekdays at 9 a.m. PT on KCET.

Last Friday, an African-American woman was returning home from a job interview in Waller County, Texas, when she was stopped by police. Apparently, she had improperly signaled a lane change. Two days later, the woman, Sandy Bland, was found dead in a jail cell.

A video taken by a bystander during the arrest shows Bland shouting that the officer had slammed her head into the ground. According to police, Sandra Bland was taken into custody and charged with "assault of a public servant." On Monday, police say Bland was "found in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation." The announcement was made by Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith. Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Smith was fired from his previous post as chief of police of Hempstead, Texas, amidst accusations of racism.

Bland's friends and family contest Smith's account, saying the thought of her committing suicide by hanging is "unfathomable." Social media is now ablaze with people demanding answers about Sandra Bland's death. The hashtag #SandraBland is now trending on Twitter, edging out the Emmys as a topic of discussion. "Democracy Now!" speaks to Maya Schenwar, editor-in-chief of Truthout and author of "Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better."



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