Target: Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Goal: Open a federal investigation into the alleged wrongful death of woman arrested and abused by police.
Three days after 28-year old Sandra Bland was violently ripped from her car and arrested, she was found dead in a Texas jail cell. Although an investigation was opened in Waller county shortly after the incident occurred, a recent development shows no indictment was given by the Texas grand jury, who ruled the case a suicide. Family and friends report Bland was not mentally ill or suicidal, and that the circumstances of her death were questionable at best and criminal at worst. A full Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation is necessary to ensure justice for Bland and her family.
Bland was arrested in July after being pulled over for an improper lane change. When the confrontation between Bland and the officer escalated, eyewitnesses say the officer pulled her from her car, slammed her head on the ground, and arrested her while she screamed for help. After she could not pay a $500 bail, Bland was forced to remain in jail and was found hanged by a plastic bag in her cell 72 hours later.
Bland had been on her way to her new job at Prairie View A & M University when she was pulled over. Those close to Bland knew her to be a happy and confident person, as well as a civil rights activist and active member of the Black Lives Matter movement. The details surrounding her alleged suicide are foggy, and the investigation that took place neglected to include Bland’s family in the process.
Many believe it’s likely Bland would not have taken her own life had she not been treated so horribly while in police custody. Civil rights activists also posit Bland’s race had a hand in her treatment. It’s reportedly very rare for individuals to be arrested following routine traffic stops.
It’s completely unacceptable for the county officials who allowed Bland’s death to occur to be responsible for the investigation. A full federal investigation into the circumstances of Bland’s arrest and treatment is the only way to ensure police violence did not play a role in her death. Sign the petition below to demand Attorney General Loretta Lynch open a full DOJ investigation into Sandra Bland’s death.
Dear Attorney General Lynch,
I am deeply disturbed by the ruling of the Texas grand jury in the Sandra Bland case. Recently, the jury failed to indict either the sheriff who arrested Bland or his staff, ruling that the case was a simple suicide. Family and friends of Bland insist she was a happy person with no perceivable mental health problems, and are doubtful that she spontaneously chose to take her own life.
Eyewitnesses report that Bland’s arrest was violent. The officer had allegedly ripped Bland from her car, slammed her to the ground, and arrested her while she screamed for help. After Bland was unable to pay a $500 bail, she was forced to remain in a Texas jail cell, where she supposedly hanged herself 72 hours later. Don’t you think it might be possible that Bland’s brutal treatment played a part in her decision to kill herself? Or worse yet, that it might be possible foul play had a hand in her death?
Regardless of theories, Bland’s family and others are not satisfied with the results of the investigation. Her parents were largely excluded from the process, and feel the details of her death are still shrouded in secrecy. I urge you to please ensure justice for Bland and her family by opening a federal investigation into her death.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue