Family and friends are gathering to mourn Sandra Bland’s death. The Illinois woman was found dead in her cell where she hanged herself with a plastic bag. Her family believes that the 28-year-old woman was excited about starting a new life and that she would not have taken her own life.
On July 10 she was pulled over by a Texas state trooper near Prairie View, northwest of Houston because she did not signal a lane change. This turned into an altercation and Bland was charged with assaulting an officer and taken into custody. Three days later she committed suicide. An autopsy confirmed that what happened was indeed suicide.
People who mourned Sandra Bland included even local politicians. Hundreds of people waited for more than an hour to attend the funeral at the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois.
The funeral service was led by Reverend James Miller who asked the people present there to pressure the government so as to conduct a federal investigation in the case of Sandra Bland’s death. He said that they should see this incident as an hour of victory, not as a moment of defeat. They were not attending the funeral or a martyr of a victim, but they were celebrating a hero, added the Revered.
Bland’s family, namely her mother and her four sisters, refuse to believe that the woman would have committed suicide. Bland was starting a new job and was excited about this and in addition she was passionate about civil rights. Geneva Reed-Veal, Sandra Bland’s mother, said that when she had traveled with her daughter Bland confessed that she is decided to stop injustice against black people in South America. Her family also acknowledged that Bland had problems with depression, but they disputed the suicide ruling.
The people who came to the funeral remembered Sandra Bland as a person who always offered advices. They wore shirt with “Sandy Speaks” making a reference to the videos which Bland started posting on her Facebook page earlier this year in which she expressed her opinion regarding racism and excessive police force.
Her mother said:
My baby has spoken. She’s still speaking. I want to know what happened to my baby,” she said. “I’m going to find out what happened to my baby.”
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