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Monday
Jul202015

Sandra Bland Should Not Be Dead

Elected officials from both parties attended a memorial for for Sandra Bland and was briefed by DPS. They also met with the family.

Sandra Bland should not be dead.

Whether or not foul play was involved in Bland's death, police have not explained why she would have been pulled out of her car over a traffic stop that should have only led to a simple citation in the first place. Millions of people use the roads every day, and it shouldn't be strange, or something police can't handle, that some of these people might be upset when they're pulled over for an alleged infraction that's going to cost them money. Police officers should have thick enough skin to deal with some "combativeness" when they're essentially shaking people down on the roads. The question of when police should be allowed to order drivers they've pulled over to exit their cars is an important one to consider in the efforts to limit police brutality.Ed Krayewski, Reason.com

How did a routine traffic stop escalate to a driver being asked to exit their vehicle and ultimately a road side body slam? Combativeness is not a crime - and as I have not heard the audio from the trooper's camera, I don't know whether she was combative at all.

The people who run the Waller County Jail have a DUTY to protect those in custody. One way or another, they failed.

Arresting agencies have a responsibility to protect those in custody.

They didn’t. The official account is that she took her own life with  “a trash bag to hang herself from a partition in the ceiling, which was used to give inmates privacy,” according to Elton Mathis, Waller County district attorney.

Maybe Bland followed the survival rules of a traffic stop, or maybe her “depression” escalated the original interaction. But I can’t believe that a department can’t protect a young woman alone in cell. And when the complete truth surrounding this incident becomes public, it most likely will be quite ugly. Jim, Mitchell, Dallas Morning News.

 

Sandra's family has ordered an independent autopsy.

Reader Comments (5)

She should never have been arrested for a minor traffic violation or for "combativeness". Thank goodness someone was there to videotape her arrest. My heart goes out to her family. Imagine saying good bye to your daughter just to hear that she died in a jail cell after reaching her destination. Heartbreaking.

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Kayden

She was asking why she was being detained for failure to signal. He wouldn't tell her why then slammed her head into the ground. This cop is disgusting and dishonest. She stood up for herself and they punished her for it, and she was silenced.

Failure to signal.

What on earth is going on in this country?

July 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

I'm sorry but when I get pulled over by the cops. I'm extremely compliant. It's just not worth it.

Some cops are just psychopaths. Most are racist and yes the black ones are racist too. We as black women are profiled and stopped unnecessarily. I've experienced numerous times what she experienced. However, my reaction was very different and very opposite of hers.

All of my white friends have NEVER been pulled over and ticketed for not having a seat belt on but for some reason I have several times throughout my life and I'm in my forties. When you're black inspection stickers must be up to date - all the time. Everything must be perfect, if not, white cops will LOOOK for something to pull you over. Even then, they'll say you failed to use your turn signal. It really is a no win when your driving as a black person.

However, it's really on you to stay calm and MAINTAIN ALL the self control. At the end of the day, this woman should have been alive. If she'd just taken the ticket, fought it in court, then she may be alive. She's dead. So, I guess all of that was worth it?!

July 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

@monica - I don't think there is moral equivalence between a member of the public and someone given power by the state to pull you over, stop you and detain you. We are not obligated by law to be polite to police officers. Is it wise to pick your battles? Yep. But even if she was not polite - as a matter of public policy, we can't be handing out guns and licenses to hot heads who can't control their rage and then abuse their power to deprive freedom from ordinary citizens.

And as a reminder - the Bill of Rights is intended to protect those of us who are not warm and fuzzy. They are there to limit the acts of the powerful.

The officer was the professional in this case and he wasn't professional at all. ANd he abused his power.

July 25, 2015 | Registered CommenterThe Blogmother

Monica, your argument would be stronger if the cop had tried to give her a ticket and she had refused to take it. He never told her that he was going to give her a ticket for an improper lane change. Instead, he asked her to put out her cigarette and she refused. That's when everything went to hell. Ms. Bland had every right to smoke in her own car.

All the cop had to do was give her a ticket for what she allegedly did wrong and keep it moving. Instead he pulled her out of the car and assaulted her.

There are no excuses for his behavior and he should be fired.

July 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Kayden

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