Even though according to preliminary information Sandra Bland ’s death was a suicide a local district attorney insists to treat this case as a murder investigation.
On July 10 Sandra Bland was arrested after a traffic stop. Three days later she died by asphyxiation in her cell. The results of the autopsy showed that the woman used a plastic trash bag to hang herself from a partition in the cell.
Brian Encinia, a Texas trooper, pulled Sandra Bland over 45 miles northwest of Houston. She was to begin her new job at Prairie View A&M University. The woman’s vehicle was flagged down because she did not signal on a lane change. After she got out of the car she assaulted an officer and that is why she was arrested.
The case is run by the Texas Rangers and the FBI supervises it. According to local church pastors the woman’s family believes that the Department of Justice should investigate the case.
On Monday Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis declared:
“This is being treated like a murder investigation. I want fingerprints run. I want…DNA tests run on the trash bag. There are too many questions that still need to be resolved.”
Capt. Brian Cantrell from the Waller County Sheriff’s Office revealed more details about what happened after the arrest and the department released a footage of three hours from inside the jail. According to Capt. Cantrell Sandra Bland refused medical attention on the scene and afterwards was taken to Waller County Jail.
A video filmed by a witness shows that more officers were standing over her on the ground and as the woman protested against the way they were treating her. In the footage she accuses the officers of having slammed her head into the ground. Encia was placed on administrative duty by DPS officials for having violated traffic procedures in the stop.
The dash cam footage cannot offer a clear image of what happened because most of the activity occurred in the woman’s car.
On July 13 in the morning the jailers checked on Sandra Bland and said that she was fine. The woman had the possibility to use the phone which was placed in the cell, but according to Cantrell there was no record of any call.
Image Source: USA Today