Sandra Bland was laid to rest on Saturday despite unanswered questions regarding her death. Mourners wore blue shirts with hash tag #SandySpeaks printed on the front.
The 28-year-old black woman was arrested on July 10 for failure to use her turn signal. Three days after her arrest, she was found dead inside her jail cell in Texas by a jail personnel who said Bland “was not breathing” and “hanging from a noose” made from trash bag.
The office of the sheriff declared her death “be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” which was corroborated by Glenn Smith, sheriff officer of Waller County.
‘So Much To Live For’
Friends and relatives of Bland would not believe she would take her own life because she had so much to live for and was excited about her future. It was said that she was supposed to start at her new job at Prairie Valley A&M University.
Prior to her arrest, it was reported that Bland was flagged down for failure to use her turn signal. She engaged in verbal spat with state trooper Brian Encinia over a cigarette that Encinia asked her to put out.
Bland asked Encinia why she has to put out her cigarette when she is inside her car. The trooper found her response testy and told her to get out of her car. Bland refuses and was threatened by the officer, saying, “I will light you up,” dashcam video showed.
‘Mugshot Sparks Doubts’
As Bland’s mugshots circulated, debates stirred the Internet and media casting doubts on Bland being alive when the mugshots were taken. Many believe she might already be dead and the mugshot was just fabricated as part of a cover-up.
In a report from The Guardian, Lil Bibby, a Chicago rapper claimed new evidence contradicts suicide claims as the footage, showing Bland cuffed both at her hands and feet, “looks dead in the video already” and might have been “pulled out of a police car and dragged lifelessly across a parking lot to jail by a white officer.”
Warren Diepraam, state prosecutor, was quoted by CNN saying the early autopsy “results offered very overwhelming evidence.” And although the case is not yet resolved, he feels “comfortable that their findings are correct.”
Reports say Bland was agitated because her bond was set at $5,000 for being charged with assault on a public servant, when Bland failed to user her turn signal. She was reportedly more upset because no one was returning her jail calls.
In Encinia’s arrest warrant affidavit, Bland was “combative and uncooperative” and was thus “placed in handcuffs for Encinia’s safety.”