BREAKING: The family of Sandra Bland, the Black Chicagoan killed last week, while in the custody of Texas police in Waller County (60 miles northwest of Houston), has ordered an independent autopsy report.
According to NBC News, the family’s attorney, Cannon Lambert, states that the results of the autopsy will take 48 to 72 hours.
Following an encounter with Texas troopers over “improper signaling” on July 10, Sandra Bland was manhandled, pinned to the ground, arrested, and jailed for three days. She was in Texas to interview for a position in student outreach at her alma mater, HBCU Prairie View A & M.
The official police report claimed that Bland was charged with “assaulting a public servant.” Footage of the incident, recorded by a passerby, show Bland interrogating officers about the circumstances of the stop and their violent approach.
NBC reports that dashcam video of the incident show Bland complying with trooper after being pulled over, until he orders her to put out her cigarette.
According to Lambert, Bland asked “Why do I have to put out a cigarette when I’m in my own car?” He added, “And that seemed to irritate him to the point where he said ‘Get out of the car.'”
After Bland expressed discomfort with getting out the car, the officer opened the door and demanded that she remove herself from the vehicle.
“There’s no clear understanding of why she had to get out of the car in the first place” Lambert said. “It was a routine traffic stop.”
Bland, a BlackLivesMatter activist, who uploaded a series of videos online deploring racism under the title SandySpeaks, was last seen alive at 7 a.m. on July 13. Two hours later, she was found dead. An official medical report ruled her death a “suicide” by “self-inflicted asphyxiation.” Her body was returned to Illinois for burial.
Loved ones have voiced their pain and frustration on how the investigation into Bland’s death has proceeded. #IfIDiedInPoliceCustody, #WhatHappenedToSandraBland, and #SandraBland are soaring all over Twitter and Facebook feeds. The grassroots’ outcry prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine the data to determine if the case warrants a federal investigation.
Alongside Kindra Chapman and several others, Bland’s death has grown into another high profile case that proves the rule of law enforcement agents applying excessive force to black women and, when caught, inverting the circumstances and claiming victimhood.
Check back with Wear Your Voice for updates on this unfolding story.