Chicagoan Sandra Bland’s Death Questioned


Sandra Bland before her untimely death Monday June 13, 2015.
Sandra Bland before her untimely death Monday June 13, 2015

Sandra Bland after her arrest . . . mug shot.
Sandra Bland after her arrest . . . mug shot

Chicagoan Sandra Bland’s Death Questioned

by Kai EL’ Zabar

So many questions around the alleged suicide of  28 year old Naperville, Illinois native Sandra  Bland  who lived in Chicago.  Thursday July 16 Texas authorities  ruled her death a suicide by hanging. Yet for those who knew her well– family and Friends the suspicion is great. Even the  police struggled for an explanation why she would have killed herself following a traffic stop arrest.

Then the video Bland posted five months prior to her traffic stop arrest featuring a vocal Bland stating a self diagnosed explanation of what she was experiencing was discovered  She explained it as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder/PTSD giving the police and easy out.  The mental health explanation Bland made offered a hint of sense.

She is quoted as saying on camera, “I’m suffering from something that some of you all may be dealing with right now. It’s a little bit of depression as well as PTSD.” 
Texas authorities on Thursday ruled her death a suicide by hanging. But as her family and police struggled for an explanation why she would have killed herself following a traffic stop arrest, the mental health explanation offered a hint of sense.

“That is, of course, extremely relevant that she may have been suffering from some sort of mental illness,” said Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis. “That self-diagnosis is certainly something that we are going to look at and consider with a motive for a suicide.”
Cannon Lambert, Sr.,The Bland family lawyer said, “We need to understand what happened,”  Thursday prior to disclosure of the depression video. Concerns by her family and friends on social media produced a groundswell of anger the past few days, since her death was initially reported. 
“To know Sandy was to love her,” Sharon Cooper, one of Bland’s four sisters, said during a Chicago news conference Thursday. “It is unimaginable and difficult for us to wrap our minds around.”
Bland’s family questions why a woman who just moved from Chicago to Texas for a new job would end her life.
Bland was driving on July 10 when a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper pulled her over for not signaling a lane change. The ABC7 I-Team obtained video of the arrest, which was recorded by a bystander. Authorities said during the arrest, she became “combative.”

Perhaps their anger is still justified. The 28 year old is very much a part of the social media hound generation who share without filters whatever they are thinking publicly. Still she’s no doctor and as far as facts are concerned had not been diagnosed as suffering from clinical depression which is the question on the table. Depression as in being  melancholy or down about life’s circumstances is quite  different than clinical depression which could certainly be  cause for suicide.  If there’s no medical record or history of Bland having been diagnosed or treated for depression or PTSD  there is reason for concern especially when her close friends and loved one have no memory of her presenting symptoms of either.

Of course it will take a specialist to address the possibly of the impact of the traumatic traffic arrest that entailed a physical encounter with the police using force and having her face pushed to the ground. In the video which the police seem to ignore, Bland can be heard complaining about her head being slammed to the ground.  She is heard saying, “You just slammed my head to the ground. Do you care about That? I can’t even hear.”  

Bland’s body was discovered around 9 a.m. Monday after she had spent the weekend in the Waller County Jail by the  jailer who began CPR, according to Waller County Sheriff R Glenn Smith. 

Justice of the Peace Charles Karisch was called to the jail cell. “I pronounced her dead. I did see a mark somewhere around the neck,” Karisch said. “I think I saw a plastic bag hanging from something.”

Karisch said he believes that a plastic bag was used to commit suicide. “That’s what I believe, absolutely,” he said.

Sheriff Smith said each cell has a garbage can with a plastic bag, a procedure which will now be under review. Local officials said jail surveillance video around the time of her death shows no one going into or out of her cell.

Prior to Bland being jailed, a witnessed reported that he observed the police stop Bland, pull her from the car and actually slam her down to the ground. here again the rough handling was unnecessary for a traffic violation. Did it take all that? She was an unarmed non threatening woman who had made a wrong mvd from a lane to the next. The office could have very easily, noted her out of state drivers license and given her a warning. Instead he went the other route. One could question whether r not she suffered brain  damage since she complained that she could not hear as a result of having her head slammed to the ground. We have no idea, she could have suffered from eternal bleeding which may have led to the suicide. And if so it would still be a result of the physical  trauma caused, even if she suffered depression or PTD. The point is that the abuse could have  triggered irrational behavior.

The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation, which FBI agents said they are monitoring, as is standard procedure.

All this as result of  a traffic stop or the unspoken racism so intricately woven within the mindset of white police.


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