WALLER COUNTY, TX — The FBI and Texas Rangers are now investigating the case of a Chicago woman found dead in a Waller County jail cell Monday morning. Jail officials say Sandra Bland used a plastic garbage bag as a noose to hang herself.
The Harris County Medical Examiner ruled Bland’s death a suicide.
But family members say there’s no way she would have killed herself. They’re upset and downright suspicious. So are protestors who turned out Friday in front of the Waller County Courthouse demanding answers. They want Attorney General Loretta Lynch to open a Justice Department investigation.
28-year-old Bland was in jail for allegedly assaulting a DPS trooper who stopped her for not signaling a lane change. That was one week ago on Friday, July 10.
Jailers found her Monday morning, just hours before she was scheduled to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M.
“She was an activist against police misconduct, against police brutality,” activist Quannell X said. “And because she is an activist, all of us that are activists owe it to her and to her family to investigate this murder to the ends of the earth.”
Adding to the concern of activists is a report from the Texas Commission on jail standards that states the Waller County Jail failed on two counts while Bland was behind bars.
Brandon Woods, the Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, tells NewsFix that the first one is supervision. Inmate are supposed to be checked once every hour.
The second failure is staff training for potentially suicidal inmates. Below is a Facebook video Bland posted in March. She talks about PTSD and a current bout with depression.