This story was originally published on July 29, 2015.
of 28-year-old Sandra Bland while in police custody in Texas has caused a firestorm on social media, with activists across the country joining Bland's family to demand a Department of Justice investigation into the circumstances surrounding her alleged suicide on July 13.
What began as a routine traffic stop for failing to use a turn signal ended with Bland's arrest for allegedly assaulting an officer; police dash-cam footage
later emerged showing Officer Brian Encinia arresting her roughly. But in video
released on Wednesday by Waller County, TX, officials, Bland appears to be calm and cooperative as she is booked into the county jail and has her mugshot taken. Three days later, Bland's body was found
hanging in her cell.
conducted by the Harris County, TX, medical examiner on July 14 found trace amounts of marijuana in Bland's system and ruled her death a suicide. But her family insists that Bland did not take her own life, and are demanding an independent federal investigation.
"I'm the mom and I’m telling you that baby did not take herself out," Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, told mourners at her funeral on July 25, the Chicago Sun-Times reported
Although hers is perhaps a rare case that made headlines, Sandra Bland is by no means alone — there are other Black women who have suffered abuse at the hands of law enforcement. But the vast majority of Black female victims of police violence die and fade away without us ever knowing their names, a chilling new report
by the African American Policy Forum at Columbia University Law School finds.