FBI probes Bland death: Sandra Bland FBI
Published: July 17, 2015
FBI probes Bland death: Sandra Bland FBI, The FBI has joined the Texas Rangers in investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman in the Waller County jail.
The Harris County medical examiner ruled 28-year-old Sandra Bland’s hanging death was a suicide.
Bland was found in her jail cell Monday morning. The Waller County Sheriff’s Office said she was “not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation” and CPR was immediately performed. Bland was pronounced dead shortly after.
Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith said video shows Bland was alone in her cell before she died.
“It appears she had used a trash bag to hang herself from a partition in the ceiling, which was used to give inmates privacy,” said Elton Mathis, district attorney of Waller County.
Family members and friends have said Bland would never hurt herself. They say she was excited about starting a new job and new life in Texas. She was a graduate of Prairie View A&M in Waller County and had recently accepted a job with the college.
“I talked to her Friday and she was in good spirits,” said LaVaughn Mosely. “Although she was incarcerated she was in good spirits. She was looking forward to posting bond Saturday and getting out. So you don’t go from that to hanging yourself.”
Bland was pulled over on a traffic stop Friday in Prairie View. According to a statement from the Department of Public Safety, Bland became “argumentative and uncooperative.”
“I can’t understand how somebody from a routine traffic stop can end up in jail and dead three days later.”
LaVaughn Mosely, friend of Sandra Bland
“She had become combative on the side of the road,” Smith said.
Bland was arrested on a charge of assaulting a public servant.
Mosely said she called him from jail Friday night and told him her version of what happened.
“She was smoking when he pulled her over. Told her to put her cigarette out, she had an exchange of words and it just went downhill. She said he snatched her out of the window and slammed her on her face,” Mosely said.
Since her death, alleged video of Bland’s arrest has been posted to both Facebook and YouTube. The video shows deputies cuffing Bland on the ground. She appears to be yelling, saying the deputies slammed her head into the ground. One of the deputies then turns his attention to the person recording the altercation, telling them they need to leave.
From the barber shop across the street, Renee McKnight had a front row seat to Bland’s arrest.
“She was telling him to get his so and so hands off of her and jerking away from him,” said McKnight.
McKnight said she then saw Bland end up on the ground.
“I couldn’t tell if he slammed her down there or it was a maneuver she did trying to stop him from putting her in the car caused her to be put on the ground,” McKnight said. “She was very, very upset. She wasn’t trying to get in that police car.”
Bland was from the Chicago area, and her family there is now closely watching the investigation. They have hired an attorney and hope to meet the Texas Rangers leading the investigation Monday. A prayer vigil has been planned for Sunday.
Mathis said a video surfaced of Bland in March, in which she speaks about depression and that she suffered from PTSD. Mosley still is uncertain.
“I can’t understand how somebody from a routine traffic stop can end up in jail and dead three days later,” Mosley said.
Mathis said the Texas Rangers would conduct a thorough investigation.
“I understand there’s some disbelief among some friends and family that she would do this to herself,” Mathis said.
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