Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old Black woman, died in a Texas jail cell after a routine traffic stop on July 13, 2015. Two years later, people are still protesting, urging Americans to continue to #SayHerName.
Bland was arrested for not using a turn signal. The arresting officer called Bland "combative and uncooperative" in the arrest warrant, but was later indicted for perjury. He was fired from his job, but the charges against him were dropped. The 28-year-old was found dead in her jail cell three days after the arrest. Officials said she had hanged herself, but her family rejected the claim that she killed herself.
Her family settled a federal wrongful-death lawsuit for $1.9 million last year, and was promised changes would be made to jail procedures in Waller County, TX, where she died.
Two years after Bland's death, dozens of people marched to the Texas capitol on Thursday, and New Yorkers held a rally in her honor in Brooklyn on Thursday night. Despite the rain, the Brooklyn crowd chanted, sang, and spoke about the continued need to stand up against police brutality.
"I feel like everyone forgot," said Ruth, 27, at the demonstration. "So, even just walking past here right now made me feel like this needed to happen, because a lot of us just kind of forgot. We need to be reminded that this is still happening, and we still need to be active and proactive about what we're doing."
One of the speakers, Mia Anderson, reminded the Brooklyn crowd about the power of Black women — from Sandra Bland, to Harriet Tubman, to the women at the demonstration.
"Know that worth as a Black woman is always valid — is always important. We are the mothers of this movement," Anderson said.
Refinery29 spoke to eight Black women at the New York rally about how they felt at the two-year mark of Bland's death.
The interviews have been edited and condensed.