Written by Tyra Mills, Social Media Editor
Sandra Bland was 28, living in Chicago, and on her way to her new, dream job in Waller County.
She was pulled over for changing lanes without using a signal. The traffic stop was all caught on camera, and you can see tensions clearly rising between Bland and the officer.
He was upset that she was giving him attitude, and as a police officer, that is something he should have been used to. In the video, he is asking her a lot of irrelevant questions about why she is irritated. When she tells him why, he responds with “Are you done?” His rude, sarcastic attitude mixed with her rising frustration created an unnecessary situation.
The officer proceeds to ask her to put out her cigarette. When she questions why she has to put it out, he proceeds to open her car door and pull her out. Since when is that protocol? An increasingly irritated Bland ends up being put on the ground as she screams in agony. There was a struggle between the two, and she was eventually taken into custody for “assault against a public servant”.
On July 13, 2015, Bland was found hanging in her jail cell. Bland used a trash bag in her cell to hang herself from a partition, according to the sheriff, Glenn Smith. The morning of her death, Bland was held alone in a holding facility for women at the county jail. The police say it was suicide while others find that very hard to believe.
Sandra Bland was a young, educated woman who had just landed the job of her dreams. Though family members say she had suffered from depression before, why would she take her own life over a traffic violation? Bland’s family and friends say there is no way she would do this to herself.
It is interesting that there have been four other suicides in that jail. In fact, the last man to commit suicide was also arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer, just like Bland. Seems like a weird coincidence.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Sheriff Glenn Smith was fired from his job as police chief in Hempstead, Texas, after allegations of racism were made against him and four of his officers. After he was fired in 2008, Smith was elected as sheriff of Waller County.
So, if there was excessive force used on Bland because she was black, I wouldn’t be surprised. If a police officer has been fired over allegations of racism before, he shouldn’t be allowed to work in the police force anywhere ever again.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me if she killed herself or not. The way she was treated during her traffic stop was ridiculous and unjustifiable, and she should never have been in jail. The last time I checked, it wasn’t illegal to sass an officer. He could have written her a ticket and sent her on her way. Instead, it seems like he was just on an ego trip.
Racial profiling is constantly happening between police officers and blacks in America. There are countless videos of Caucasian people being rude and completely out of line with officers, but it’s almost rare that anything bad happens to them. There is clearly a difference between the way law enforcement treats minorities and the way they treat other people, and it needs to be put to an end immediately.