Did #SandraBland Kill Herself #JusticeforSandy TheWWShoW 7/26/2015
Booking Documents http://documents.latimes.com/booking-documents-sandra-bland/
Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday at the suburban Chicago church that Sandra Bland attended for many of her 28 years, turning out in such numbers that even the overflow viewing room ran out of chairs. From the pulpit, relatives and friends recounted happy memories of Ms. Bland’s faith and social activism, and restated their belief that her death in a Texas jail was no suicide.
“That baby did not take herself out of here,” said Geneva Reed-Veal, Ms. Bland’s mother, during the funeral here at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Ms. Reed-Veal spoke at length, telling mourners about a recent road trip she had taken with her daughter. On their way to visit relatives in Tennessee, Ms. Reed-Veal said, Ms. Bland told her she had found a calling and planned to pursue it by returning to Texas, where she had attended college.
“Her purpose was to stop all injustice against blacks in the South,” Ms. Reed-Veal said at the funeral.
Many here believe that in seeking to fulfill that newfound purpose, Ms. Bland became another victim of the injustice she wanted to end. Shortly after arriving in Hempstead, Tex., where she had moved to take a job at Prairie View A&M University, the historically black school that was her alma mater, she was pulled over by a state trooper.
What started as a traffic stop escalated to an arrest and a charge of assaulting a public servant. On July 13, three days after she was arrested and jailed, Ms. Bland was found hanged in a cell at the Waller County Jail. A county prosecutor in Texas said Thursday that an autopsy had concluded that Ms. Bland’s injuries were consistent with suicide. The authorities have said she used a trash can liner to hang herself, a conclusion that many people here dispute.
Leaders at DuPage remembered Ms. Bland as a smart, outspoken woman who once sang in the youth choir and had participated in the church’s Girl Scout troop. After graduating from college, she returned here, serving on church committees, befriending older members of the congregation and earning a reputation as a prolific taker of selfie photos.
The Rev. Theresa Dear, an associate minister at DuPage A.M.E. who knew Ms. Bland since she started attending the church as a young girl, said the official account of the death conflicted with her own memories of an ambitious, educated Christian who was excited about the future and who had helped organize the church’s recent Women’s Day event.
“This is someone who had over 50 selfies, healthy self-esteem,” Ms. Dear said in an interview. “Someone who had two job offers. Someone who just talked to her family and knew that help and rescue was on the way. This is someone who knew the Lord and was extremely close with her church family and her sisters, her biological family.