First the McKinney situation, now this. Sandra Bland was a alumna of my university, Prairie View A&M that died in police custody on Monday in Waller County Jail. Officers released statements saying that she was found hanging in her cell, ruling it a suicide. Â PV alum, family members, and her sorority sisters of Sigma Gamma Rho are very positive that this was not a suicide! She was just moving back to Texas from Illinois to work for the university, as she just accepted the job.
Thankfully the incident was recorded by a bystander.Â Bland was pulled over due to a traffic violation but what was caught on camera clearly didn’t fit the crime. The Chicago Tribune noted that Â Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said was â€œtypical protocol.â€
Waller County has a reputation of having racial cases. It’s county sheriff has been fired from a previous job in Hempstead (which is literally 2 minutes away) due to racial discrimination. There was also problems with letting Prairie Â View students use their voting rights in certain locations around the city. It was later solved in 2013. Even more recent, Prairie View police has a incident with being caught on camera pepper spraying at student in the face for recording them shutting down a party off campus. The police in the area are pretty rough and according to Black Twitter activist, this wasn’t the first case where someone was found hanging from their cell.
This really hit home. It’s crazy what’s going on in America. Day after day we are being murdered and abused but who do we run to for help when the higher authority are the killers? Like I’ve said before, we need to come together to protect our own. I don’t know the solution but I know that this problem is killing us off. Â The Houston chapter of the NAACP has made it their business to make sure this case get all the attention it needs. We as a people need to redirect our focus on this issue of trying to survive. Â This lady has traveled over 1,000 miles to accept a job offer from her alma mater and was initially pulled over for a traffic violation. Whoever truly BELIEVES that she committed suicide is crazy. With all the things going in her favor, how passionate she was on social media about making our voices heard on this topics, and even in the arresting video; I’m certain that dying was not on the agenda.
There is a petitionÂ to sign so that the United States Department of Justice will take over the case and also a protest at the Waller County Jail, and a candle light vigil at PVAMU’s foundation at the center of the university.
This is a very devastatingÂ moment for the black community all over America and especially PV Nation. I pray that one day we will no longer have to suffer and we can live at peace. To Ms. Sandra, once a panther always a panther, may you rest in peace and I pray justice will be served.
To follow the movement check out the hashtags: #WhatHappenedToSandraBland , #SandraBland , #JusticeForSandy, #IfIDieInPoliceCustody