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Thread: What Happened to Sandra Bland, a Black Woman Who Died in Jail Monday?

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default What Happened to Sandra Bland, a Black Woman Who Died in Jail Monday?

    What Happened to Sandra Bland, a Black Woman Who Died in Jail Monday?





    On Friday, Sandra Bland was arrested in Prairie View, Tx., following a routine traffic stop for failure to signal a lane change. Three days later, she was dead in her cell at Waller County Jail. Suicide by hanging is the official cause of death, but Bland’s family believes it was something much more sinister.


    “The family of Sandra Bland is confident that she was killed and did not commit suicide,” the family’s law firm wrote in a statement released this week. “The family has retained counsel to investigate Sandy’s death.”


    Bland was charged Friday with “assault of a public servant,” the Chicago Tribunereported, after she allegedly kicked the Texas State Trooper who pulled her over. Ablurry bystander video of the arrest, first published by a Chicago ABC affiliate, shows what appear to be two officers on top of Bland, who can be heard protesting the nature of the arrest: “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear. He slammed my fucking head into the ground.” Bland can also be heard thanking the bystander for recording.






    Bland received breakfast in her cell at 7 a.m. on Monday, and was found dead at 9 a.m. On Tuesday, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Bland had apparently died of self-induced asphyxiation, the Houston Chronicle reports. An autopsy by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences concluded that Bland’s death was a suicide by hanging. Representatives of the Sheriff’s office said did not specify what Bland allegedly used to hang herself, but said that she did not use shoelaces or a blanket, according to the Chronicle.


    Bland, a native of the Chicago area, had recently accepted a job as a student outreach coordinator at Prairie View A&M, her alma mater, and was driving near the campus when she was pulled over.


    The Texas Rangers, the investigative arm of the state’s Department of Public Safety, are investigating the circumstances of Bland’s death. Waller County prosecutor Elton Mathis told the Tribune that such an investigation is “typical protocol” following a death in custody.


    Rev. James Miller, pastor at Bland’s Illinois church, told the Tribune that she was a “very, very accomplished young lady,” and a “commendable, active young adult,” adding that he hopes “the investigation is very comprehensive.”





    I read earlier that the FBI is now going to investigate.

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    This has been all over the local news here. Stinks to high heaven from what I can tell.
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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    I heard on NPR that there is a FB post by her saying that she was suffering from depression. And that this is why she supposedly hung herself in prison. I call shenanigans...she said nothing about wanting to take her own life. Something happened
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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Makes no sense...why would a smart, college-educated woman take what looks like a good job, move across the country, just to kill herself in a matter of days? Over a traffic violation? And why would she be manhandled and thrown in jail over a traffic violation in the first place?
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    Rest in Peace Sandra Bland.
    My thoughts are with her family and friends.

    Lets hope the truth comes out very soon as to what actually happened

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    Gold Member Jazzy's Avatar
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    Just curious why does someone get thrown into lock up for failure to signal a lane change.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    She shouldn't have been arrested in the first place and if she did suffer from mental illness, the police had a responsibility to make sure she wasn't in any danger, including from herself.
    I don't know if this is a police cover up, I guess it's possible but I imagine the more likely scenario is that a young black woman with a history of depression suddenly went from "young woman with everything going for her, about to start a great job" to "young black woman whose life was just ruined by arrest and imprisonment - there goes that new job and the change at ever getting another good job - due to a cop's racism and a system so fucked up that a person's life an be ruined because of a routine traffic stop", and she had to face all f that while being completely alone in a jail cell.
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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Yeah, and there are questions about whether or not anyone actually checked on her over the weekend, it's common knowledge that getting locked up on a Friday means your ass is stuck until Monday.

    I'd be curious to know the call logs of the insanely overpriced collect calls she had to make to family members, it sounds like they got her a bail bond or were working on it and she should have either been scheduled for arraignment before the death or right after it since that would be Monday. So, yeah, I'd like to know about her arraignment hearing as well.

    I think something weird is going on and we're getting a spin from every direction.
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    Elite Member Brah's Avatar
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    An 18 year old black girl just died in police custody, as well. I read somewhere that the police are saying it's a suicide, whereas in this article it says overdose. The police refuse to hand over the film showing her death (despite saying they would) which is pretty fucking suspicious, and considering they sprayed her twice with pepperspray while she has asthma, without getting her medical help afterwards, is pretty fucking awful.



    The family of an 18-year-old black woman who died in police custody in Alabama are demanding to see video footage taken inside the jail cell where she was held for several hours before she was discovered lifeless.
    Sheneque Proctor, the mother of an infant boy, died in a holding cell at Bessemer city jail on 2 November. She had been arrested the previous afternoon for alleged disorderly conduct and resisting arrest outside a private party she was attending with friends.
    In their first media interview, members of the Proctor family told the Guardian that questions over Sheneque’s death have gone largely unanswered by city and state officials. They suspect neglect on the part of her jailers, and see her passing as the latest example of unequal treatment of African Americans in the hands of US law enforcement.
    The Counted: people killed by police in the United States in 2015 – interactive

    The dead woman’s mother, Scherita Proctor, said that in her opinion the jail had failed to give her daughter medical help at a critical – and ultimately fatal – moment. “I don’t think she was treated fairly. She may have acted out, but that doesn’t mean you refuse to help her.”
    She also complained of the lack of information coming from official sources. “I don’t feel I’ve been given any respect, considering I lost my child. They should have at least have come to me and told me something.”
    The family’s lawyer, Hank Sherrod, who has experience of cases of death in police custody, said that the city police department had promised to release the video to the family by the New Year but had so far failed to honour the pledge. “This young woman was denied medical treatment while being recorded on videotape right before police eyes. The fact that they won’t hand the film over makes us wonder what they have to hide.”
    A rally is being organised on Saturday morning by the Alabama branch of the NAACP outside Bessemer city jail. A petition has also been launched on change.org that calls for a federal investigation into Proctor’s death.
    Sheneque Proctor and her son Zamaruien Blevins. Photograph: Proctor family“All over the country, African Americans are treated as though they are guilty by law enforcement. Here in Alabama, black people don’t receive equal treatment when they’re arrested,” said Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama state conference of the NAACP who is advising the Proctors.
    At the time of her death, Sheneque Proctor had just turned 18. She graduated from Pleasant Grove high school last May and had given birth to her first child, Zamaruien Blevins, in July.
    On 1 November she went to a party at an Economy Inn in Bessemer, to which police were called following a reported disturbance. In a phone conversation with her mother after her arrest, Proctor said that she had been roughly handled by three police officers who slammed her against a police car, handcuffed her and then threw her into the back seat of the vehicle.
    “Mama, come and get me,” Scherita Proctor recalls her daughter saying to her.
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    Arriving at the jail, Proctor was pepper-sprayed by officers after “slipping out” of her handcuffs at least twice, according to official documents. This official narrative states that she was booked into the jail at 2.39pm on 1 November, then decontaminated from the pepper spray before being put into the holding cell where she remained overnight, kept under observation approximately every half-hour with the last observation taking place at 3.37am.
    During the night she was heard “snoring loudly” in the cell. At 4am an officer brought a breakfast tray for her but found her unresponsive on the bed. Paramedics were called and after an attempt at resuscitation she was pronounced dead at 4.40am.
    A postmortem was conducted on the day of her death. The autopsy report noted that “clear froth was observed coming from her mouth”; it also recorded that she had a history of asthma.
    Toxicology tests on her blood recorded the presence of the heroin substitute methadone, cocaine and the anxiety-inhibiting drug Alprazolam. Though no alcohol was found, trace elements of a metabolite suggested she had earlier been drinking.
    The medical examiner concluded that Proctor’s death had been an accident caused by “complications of polydrug overdose”. The Guardian contacted an independent forensic toxicologist who confirmed that the combination of drugs in her blood at the levels recorded could have been sufficient to cause death.
    Nathaniel Rutledge, the Bessemer city police chief, said there was no evidence that Proctor had been mistreated or neglected. “No one wants to hear of their child dying like that, but that’s what they found – she is another victim of heroin.”
    Rutledge insisted that the department treated citizens “fairly and equitably. We give the best service that we can and there’s no discrimination by race.”
    Sheneque Proctor. Photograph: Proctor familyAsked whether the video footage would be released to the Proctor family, he said that the decision would be made by the district attorney once an inquiry into the death had been completed by the state bureau of investigation.
    For the Proctor family, though, a slew of questions remain. Was she properly decontaminated from the pepper spray, particularly given her chronic asthma? Did Proctor’s “loud snoring” before her death indicate breathing problems that should have been detected and treated? How frequently did officers check on her, given that the family has not been allowed to see the official observation file? With no criminal proceedings pending, why hasn’t the video been released?
    “There are more questions than answers here. Until we see the video, we won’t know for certain what happened to her in the jail,” Sherrod said.
    Had Proctor’s deteriorating condition been detected earlier, there is a chance that her life could have been saved. Experts in the prevention of overdoses say that numerous treatments are available to paramedics, including the drug Naloxone to counteract methadone, CPR, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, intubation or ventilation.
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    “There are many life-saving measures that can always be tried,” said Meghan Ralston, harm reduction manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “They may not work 100% of the time, but there are things that can be done.”
    Two months after Sheneque Proctor died, her family is still waiting to be given back her possessions. “We want the police department to know that we aren’t satisfied by the lack of response,” Simelton said.
    Sheneque’s uncle, Donnell Sanders, said that as a military veteran with 30 years’ public service he has no animus towards the police. But he said that the authorities had shown “no sympathy, no passion since my niece’s death. That is neglect, and I don’t understand it at all.”
    Sanders said he is painfully aware that the family will eventually have to explain to Zamaruien, now six months old, why he has no mother. “It will be our job to tell him that she passed away in a police cell. And then it will be our job to help him grow up to be a positive young man, and not one paralysed by paranoia, fear and anger.”


    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/09/black-alabama-teenager-died-police-cell-sheneque-proctor
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    Gold Member Jazzy's Avatar
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    ^^"The medical examiner concluded that Proctor’s death had been an accident caused by “complications of polydrug overdose”

    Sad. She was a pretty young girl, but that combo of drugs sounds pretty dangerous.

    ps. Brah I love your avi.
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    Elite Member Annika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    She shouldn't have been arrested in the first place and if she did suffer from mental illness, the police had a responsibility to make sure she wasn't in any danger, including from herself.
    I don't know if this is a police cover up, I guess it's possible but I imagine the more likely scenario is that a young black woman with a history of depression suddenly went from "young woman with everything going for her, about to start a great job" to "young black woman whose life was just ruined by arrest and imprisonment - there goes that new job and the change at ever getting another good job - due to a cop's racism and a system so fucked up that a person's life an be ruined because of a routine traffic stop", and she had to face all f that while being completely alone in a jail cell.
    i could see that if she was prosecuted and found guilty how it might affect her future job opportunities, but she was only arrested. she most likely would have been found not guilty, especially after that video.

    i fear for the life of the person who took the video.

    is scientology teaching cops how to deal with sketchy situations now? suicidation (yes i know that's a made up word) seems to be their MO.

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    Elite Member stef's Avatar
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    Sandra Bland dashcam video shows officer threatened: 'I will light you up'

    • Texas police accused of editing video before its release
    • Authorities say jail death being investigated in same way as murder case

    (VIDEO AT THE LINK)

    Dashcam footage of Sandra Bland’s arrest during a traffic stop before her death in police custody. Note: this edited video contains some cuts that
    were in the original supplied footage. Link to video@Tom_Dart

    Wednesday 22 July 2015 09.01 BST Last modified on Thursday 23 July 2015 03.03 BST
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    Dashcam video from the officer who arrested Sandra Bland – a black woman who later died in Texas police custody – shows him threatening to drag her out of her car and “light her up” with a Taser after their encounter escalates from a routine traffic stop into an angry confrontation where she is forced to the ground and handcuffed.
    The Texas public safety department released the footage on Tuesday amid continuing questions surrounding her arrest and subsequent death in a county jail. As the video circulated on Tuesday night, attention was being drawn to a number of abrupt breaks in what was thought to have been an original, uninterrupted recording – leaving the impression it had been edited before its release. A Texas department of public safety spokesman told the Guardian he did not have an immediate explanation as to why.

    In the supplied video, trooper Brian Encinia’s police car, pulling away from an earlier traffic stop, does a U-turn and follows Bland’s car for about 30 seconds, stopping her after her car changes lanes to the right without signalling.
    After telling Bland why she has been stopped, asking some questions and then walking away, apparently to complete paperwork or make inquiries, the officer returns.
    “You seem very irritated,” he says at one point after returning.
    “I am, I really am,” she replies, “because I feel like it’s crap is what I’m getting a ticket for, I was getting out of your way, you were speeding up, tailing me so I moved over and you stopped me so yeah, I am a little irritated but that doesn’t stop you from giving me a ticket, so.”
    The stop escalates into an aggressive confrontation when Encinia asks her: “You mind putting out your cigarette please, if you don’t mind.” She replies: “I’m in my car, why do I have to put out my cigarette?” The officer tells her: “Well, you can step on out now.”
    When she refuses, Encinia becomes irate and leans into her car, apparently trying to pull her out. “I’m going to yank you out of here,” he says. “I’m going to drag you out of here.” He pulls what appears to be a Taser out of a holster and shouts: “Get out of the car. I will light you up. Get out. Now.”
    They then walk off camera. The officer tells her to put her phone down. “For a failure to signal! For a failure to signal!” she says. “You know this is straight bullshit … Oh I cannot wait until we go to court.”
    A few seconds later they are briefly visible again and Bland’s wrists are behind her back. She is heard screaming and sobbing: “You’re about to break my wrist, stop! … You’re a real man now, you just slammed me, knocked my head into the ground, I got epilepsy, you motherfucker.”
    Encinia replies: “Good.” Bland says: “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear.”

    On Tuesday Texas politicians demanded transparency and state officials pledged a full and fair investigation after a meeting of elected representatives arranged amid continuing questions surrounding her arrest and subsequent death in a county jail.
    “We want the Department of Justice, we want the FBI and every agency like it to look at it to make sure that no one in America can say this was whitewashed,” Royce West, a Texas state senator, said on Tuesday after a more than two-hour meeting at Prairie View A&M University, near where Bland was arrested and where she had been about to start a new job.

    “We want to make certain that there’s transparency. We know what’s going on in America,” he said, referring to the context of violent encounters across the country between African Americans and law enforcement.
    “We believe there are questions that need to be answered as relates to the arrest,” West said. “She did not deserve to be placed in custody.”
    Shortly after the press conference ended the Texas department of public safety (DPS) released the 52 minutes of dashcam footage of her arrest taken from the state trooper’s car.
    “There’s a rush to judgment too often in America … but here in Texas I can tell you we believe in total transparency and we will find the truth wherever that leads,” said Dan Patrick, the state’s lieutenant governor. “We have to look at our procedures when people are taken into custody.”

    The treatment of Bland at what had initially been a routine traffic stop and her death in custody three days later has sparked national outrage and widespread scepticism about the official account that she killed herself in her cell.

    Encinia was placed on desk duty after the DPS said he violated traffic stop procedures and the department’s courtesy policy. “There’s no excuse for any instance where we don’t conduct traffic stops in a professional manner,” said Steven McCraw, the DPS director.
    The 30-year-old became a trooper last year and previously worked as a firefighter and an ingredient processing supervisor at an ice cream factory, according to his LinkedIn profile.

    He stopped Bland’s silver Hyundai Azera in Prairie View, near Houston, on the afternoon of 10 July, supposedly for failing to signal a lane change.
    The Waller county district attorney’s office released Bland’s arrest warrant on Tuesday. Encinia writes: “I had Bland exit the vehicle to further conduct a safe traffic investigation. Bland became combative and unco-operative. Numerous commands were given to Bland ordering her to exit the vehicle. Bland was removed from the car but became more combative. Bland was placed in handcuffs for officer safety.

    “Bland began swinging her elbows at me and then kicked my right shin. I had a pain in my right leg and suffered small cuts on my right hand. Force was then used to subdue Bland to the ground to which Bland continued to fight back. The 28-year-old was placed under arrest for Assault on Public Servant.”
    Waller county officials released video from inside the jail on Monday after a news conference. It appears to show that no one entered her cell in the 90 minutes before her body was found, but there is no camera footage that shows the inside of the cell, according to the district attorney, Elton Mathis.

    The moments after Sandra Bland is found dead in a jail cell. Link to video

    He said that it was too soon to make definitive conclusions as to whether her death was suicide or murder. Mathis pledged that the investigation would be carried out as thoroughly as if it were murder because “there are too many questions that need to be resolved”. The trash bag with which Bland allegedly hanged herself would be examined for DNA and fingerprints, he said, adding that her phone had been handed to the FBI to see if it contained any useful information.
    “It has not been determined at this point that this is a murder,” he said on Tuesday. “Whenever you have a suspicious death, that is treated as a homicide.”
    He said the results of the investigation would be presented to a grand jury that would decide if there is a criminal case to answer. West said that he had asked Mathis to ensure that the jury is ethnically diverse.
    Waller county’s long history of racism and recent high-profile cases of fatal encounters between police and African Americans have seen the case gain attention on social media, especially given her family’s contention that there is no reason to believe she would take her own life. She had just driven from her home in Illinois to Texas to take up a job at Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater, and friends said she was in good spirits.
    Activist groups have called for the US Justice Department to conduct an investigation. A media conference where LaVaughn Mosley, a friend of Bland, will demand Sheriff Smith’s resignation is scheduled for tomorrow.
    A memorial service was held on the campus on Tuesday evening. Bland’s funeral is set for Saturday at a Chicago-area church, the Chicago Tribune reported.
    “They will have justice in Texas,” Patrick said.

    Sandra Bland dashcam video shows officer threatened: 'I will light you up' | US news | The Guardian





    this story stinks to high heaven and is making my blood boil. him saying he had her exit the vehicle "to further conduct a safe traffic investigation" - complete BS! in the video you can tell he went after her after she dared to talk back and wouldn't put out her cigarette and he couldn't take it. and the CCTV footage of the time prior to 90 minutes before she was found? they say nothing was recorded so therefore they couldn't have been any movement. that's just some BS right there. this is going to be whitewashed and in a week everyone will have forgotten about it and that is beyond scary.
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    Elite Member ShimmeringGlow's Avatar
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    Some people are saying that she is already dead in this mugshot because she appears to be lying down.


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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Well that's just morbid. Her mug shot would be taken at processing/booking. After which point she would be in a holding cell. Her sister spoke with her and they discussed bail, that would be after she was already booked in the jail.
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    Elite Member ShimmeringGlow's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't think she's dead in that photo. A voicemail that she had left a friend saying that she wasn't sure if she was going to survive being in jail indicates that she was thinking about suicide. Even if she did commit suicide, the fact remains that her arrest was suspicious.

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