****This is not an entertainment article like my usual posts, but this is definitely news worthy and worth being paid careful attention to.****
Naperville, Illinois resident, Sandra Bland was a blogger, activist, youth mentor, a daughter, a sister, and an active, vibrant Dupage AME Church member. All of these things plus more. The weekend of July 10th Sandra visited Prarie View A&M for a interview job to help black youth. She was also an outspoken person with a vlog #SandraSpeaks and called for change, supporting #Black Lives Matter. Her passion and zeal for life spilled over into everything she did. A member of Dupage AME spoke about remembering her as energetic, hardworking, passionate, and had a love for God. She was a leader with great potential to change the world. Bland was supportive of causes that she believed in whole-heartedly; and was excited to be a part of the youth ministry network. She was always polite and mannerable, but never afraid to speak her mind. Bland was also an active member in her black sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc.
Her life ended when she was taken into custody over the weekend of July 10-13th. A bystander took a video of Sandra Bland being handcuffed by police right outside Prarie State A&M. Allegedly, Sandra “needed” two police officers to restrain her, although she was a small woman. The video showed Bland yelling about the police brutality towards her and that her rights were being violated. Eventually, Bland lost her life over the same inhumane issues that she spoke passionately about.
Family and friends that were interviewed, stated that Bland was targeted as an African American. They believed that after a stop by Waller County Police (Texas), she was taken into custody (on Friday) and assaulted again while in jail. Bland called home to talk to her family about her poor condition (pain from a suspected arm fracture) and bail. By the time the family arrived Monday, Sandra Bland had died allegedly from “strangulation and self-asphyxiation”.
This needs to be addressed at the Federal Level. Why are some people calling Sandy Bland a militant negro? What’s a “good negro” supposed to do? Is it militant to stand against police brutality and civil rights issues against people of color? I would have liked to know Sandy….She did everything right…living proud while being black….
There are many stories like this. But this one in particular strikes a hard nerve. Police brutality has no boundaries. This has been proven time and time again. Not ALL police officers are bad. And some encounters with policeman have been normal. But again, this specific (common) incident, does leave a bitter taste in my mouth and sometimes I do instinctually cringe when the police are near.
Research and reportings prove, Waller County has been known for racial profiling and voter intimidation/suppression against Prarie A & M students/county residents.
Race-based targeting by “People for the American Way” reports that:
“Earlier this year (2015) in Texas, a local district attorney claimed that students at a majority black college (Prarie View A &M) were not eligible to vote in the county where the school is located. It happened in Waller County the same county where 26 years earlier, a federal court order was required to prevent discrimination against the students.”
Where am I going with this? As a black woman, (minority)….where does that put me? Does my life really matter? What NOW are the statistics of me being stopped, being arrested and being killed? What should I be thinking about when I get pulled over? When do black lives matter? Because CLEARLY there is still a problem. IS this 1965 OR 2015? In some cases I still can’t tell the difference. Where does it end? What will come of this? Will it be swept under the carpet? Stand up for what is right. Make a difference. Do something. Say something…. Jim Crow is alive and well…
Chicago: ABC Channel 7- I team investigation reports:
“Bland’s friends say she had been with her family in suburban Chicago over the July 4th holiday, and drove to Texas for a job interview at her alma mater, Texas Prairie View A & M. Family members say she got the position and was to begin working in student outreach today. In the video of the arrest, an officer is heard telling the bystander taking the video to leave.
In the video the bystander shot, Bland is heard saying, “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear!”
Then, as she is taken into custody, she repeats, “You slammed me into the ground and everything.”
Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith says Bland “had been combative on the side of the road.”
Smith says that jailers saw Bland at 7 a.m. Monday when they gave her breakfast and again at 8 a.m. when they spoke with her over the jail intercom. Smith says she was found dead an hour later. In a press release from the sheriff’s department, authorities say they applied CPR, but that Bland was pronounced dead shortly after she was found.
The Willowbrook High School graduate died by “self-inflicted asphyxiation,” according to sheriff’s deputies, who have turned the investigation over to Texas Rangers. Some family members and friends say Bland was found hanging in the jail cell, but authorities have not confirmed the exact circumstances around her death.”
Also Go to Heavy.com for more details about/for the 5 Facts of Sandy Bland incident:
“1. Bland was in Texas to start a new job at Prarie View A&M
2. She was stopped on Friday for Improper Signaling & Allegedly Assaulted a police officer
3. Her death has been ruled a suicide by hanging, friends say she wouldn’t have hung herself (also she sustained major injury to her arm)
4. The Waller County Sherriff was fired from a previous job over racism allegations
5. Bland often spoke out against police brutality and racial injustice. “
I leave this quote by Maya Angelou for Sandy Bland
Still I Rise (excerpt)
“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise…..”
We need to petition for this to be represented in federal court. For signing of this petition go to change.org.
Sandy Bland quote above.
Also for other sources about the Sandra Bland Case..Go to The Root.org, Watch The Yard.com, Jet Mag, Ebony.com, NBC.