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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

'She would never do that to herself': Questions raised after woman found dead in jail cell

Sandra Bland has pulled over for a traffic offence but was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer.

Image: Facebook

FRIENDS AND FAMILY of a woman who died in police custody in Texas have raised questions about her apparent suicide in a jail cell, insisting she would never take her own life.

Sandra Bland was arrested in Waller County in Texas on Friday after being pulled over for improper signalling of a lane change.

Footage of her arrest shows the 28-year-old woman pinned to the ground by two officers:

Source: Shazzam1294/YouTube

In the video Bland can be heard saying:

You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear

She was later charged with assaulting a police officer. On Monday morning she was found dead in her jail cell.

Authorities say the woman died of self-asphyxiation, with sources saying she was found hanging, Fox 26 news reports.

Source: MyFoxHouston

Friends and relatives of Bland gathered yesterday outside the Waller County Sheriff’s Office demanding answers.

Alexandra Delacruz who had been sorority sisters with the 28 year old said she would “never, ever do that to herself”.

Another friend, Lavaghn Mosely, told Click2Houston that the woman had “a thirst for life.”

She was planning for the future and she came here to start part of that future so to say that she killed herself is totally absurd.

Bland had attended Texas Prairie View A&M University as a student and had recently been offered a job there. She was returning from Chicago, where she had been living, to Texas when she was pulled over.

She regularly uploaded video blogs to her Facebook account in which she spoke about racial discrimination and about the attitudes of police forces in the US towards black people.

Her story has caused a storm on social media, with some users questioning claims the woman took her own life.

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis told Click2Houston he accepted it “does seem strange that a person who seemed to have everything going her way would have taken her own life”.

He said it is important now that a thorough investigation take place.

If any element of this story has affected you, you can contact: 

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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