Unless you live in a cave in the Andes mountains, you have at least heard about the mysterious death of Sandra Bland while in police custody at the Waller County Jail in Texas. Bland’s body was found 10 days ago, cause of her death has been determined to be hanging;the manner of death, suicide, according to early autopsy results that do not show obvious signs of a violent struggle. However, everyone-social and news media-is searching for the answer as to what exactly happened to Bland.
There are so many unanswered question. Why was she arrested? Why was the police officer so hostile? Why was she held in jail for so long? How did she end up dead three days after her arrest? Now the the most horrifying question has been presented by many on the internet: Was Sandra Bland already dead when her mugshot was taken? The fact that this question is even being asked highlights the lack of faith in so many US police departments, reports the Independent.
Thursday, CNN described Bland as an outspoken 28-year-old. She used the hashtag #SandySpeaks on Facebook and often spoke about police brutality and the plight of African Americans. She was an advocate of the the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
“Being a black person in America is very, very hard,” she said in a video posted in April. “At the moment black lives matter. They matter.”
Her final tweet, dated June 18, offered prayers for the nine people gunned down by a young white man a day earlier during a Bible study meeting at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. On July 13, Bland was found hanging from a noose made from plastic bag in her cell at the Waller County Jail in Texas, where she was incarcerated after allegedly assaulting an officer during a July 10 traffic stop.
The Root asks some serious questions Thursday. Was Sandra Bland hostile? That was the official reason given by officers for why a simple traffic stop, which should have ended in a ticket. The video of the incident appears to show an irritated, but not combative, Bland. Was the dash-camera video edited? Even though a full video of the traffic stop was supposedly released, many noted that the nearly hour-long footage had been edited, bringing more suspicions. Even credible news source the Los Angeles Times reported that the video seemed doctored, pinpointing several locations where objects, cars and people disappear and reappear, among other discrepancies. Police insist that the tape was untouched. Which begs the question, “What are they hiding?”
Root also poses the possibility of Bland being already dead in her mug shot. Jzajaidah Selah Huskey-Lee made some interesting and valid points on his Facebook page.
“If the Army didn’t teach me anything else…it taught me ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Look at this pic. #1 Why does she already have an orange jumpsuit on in a mugshot supposedly taken during in-processing? #2…Look at her hair…her locs are pointing to the back instead of hanging straight down…which indicates that she was laying on her back, NOT standing up against a wall. #3 The fat in her face is pushed back towards her ears…another indication she was laying down. And #4, look at the right side of the pic, which is the left side of her face…it droops lower than the other side…which happens when you have lack of oxygen to the brain. So my question is…was this sista ALREADY dead in this mugshot?”
So far there are way too many questions and not nearly enough answers. There are questions regarding the autopsy results that state Bland had a significant amount of marijuana in her system.
Waller County has a history of racial intolerance, about which District Attorney Elton Mathis spoke. He said there is a “more progressive” generation in control of the county leadership. Bland’s family is awaiting results of a second, independent autopsy as they prepare for her funeral on Saturday. Her funeral is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at DuPage AME Church in suburban Lisle, stated abc7chicago on Friday.