Are we missing the point about Sandra Bland?

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The internet has been ablaze supporting the family of Sandra Bland in their rejection of claims she committed suicide while in police custody in Waller County, US. Yesterday, the questions and queries the family raised about whether it was really suicide or rather foul play, were supposedly put to bed when her death was ruled a suicide by investigators. Sandra was tragically found dead by hanging in her cell after she was arrested for a Traffic violation. Footage from outside her cell, and recordings of her calls to friends and family have now been released.

Sandra’s death was undeniably suspicious, and for many the prosecutor’s ruling does nothing to dispel concern, as we have seen time and time again that the institution that commits such heinous crimes of racial hatred under the guise of justice, will often close ranks and protect their own. However, the evidence released does make it seem less likely that there was foul play.

Social media and the masses of people, and celebrities, calling for justice and plain explanation in this case played a pivotal role in having Sandra’s death investigated. Twitter went further into Frenzy earlier in the week over the idea that her Mug shot was taken once she was already dead- it’s unclear where that dramatic rumor came from, and it has largely been side-lined by the release of her booking sheet.

While the discussion, and investigation into this matter are so important, it is possible we are overlooking a real issue- one that can be proven and substantiated beyond doubt- Sandra was a 28 year old professional woman who had recently returned to Texas to begin a new job at Prairie View A&M University. Sandra is a young black woman who was pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes- her very arrest used excessive force, and aggression- and she ended up dead in police custody.

Whether it was suicide or murder, there is already so much wrong with this story, and as she was in police custody they ought to accept responsibility for her death, because if she hadn’t been pinned to the ground 72 hours before, the likelihood is, she’d still be here.


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