Sandra Bland Vigil December 26 at Shemanski Park.
Candlelight vigil to honor the life of Sandra Bland and to demand justice for her death at the hands of jailers: Saturday, December 26 at 6 PM - 7 PM in Shemanski Park at 1010 SW Park Ave, PDX, OR 97205
“…How many more young people are going to be killed for walking in the street, failing to signal a lane shift,
looking a police officer in the eye, or playing with a toy gun? How many more names of Black men, women and young people will join the list of those whose deaths have sparked widespread protests: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Renisha McBride, Aiyana Jones and Sakia Gunn, among many
others – and now, Sandra Bland. “
Sandra Bland. (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)
“On July 9, soon after Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, moved to Texas from Naperville, Illinois, to take a new job as a college outreach officer at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M, she was pulled over by the police for failing to signal while making a lane change. What followed has become all too common and illustrates the ever-increasing rise in domestic terrorism in the United States. She was pulled out of the car by the police for allegedly becoming combative, and was pinned to the ground by two officers. A video obtained by ABC 7 of Bland’s arrest “doesn’t appear to show Bland being combative with officers but does show two officers on top of Bland.”
"Sandra Bland’s family and friends believe that foul play was involved in her death, and rightly so. Their belief is bolstered by the fact that the head sheriff of Waller County, Glenn Smith, who made the first public comments about Bland’s in-custody death, was suspended for documented cases of racism when he was chief of police in Hempstead, Texas, in 2007."
A Texas grand jury on Tuesday found no wrongdoing by the staff at a county jail where a black woman was found hanged in July.
On July 10, Bland was driving from Illinois to her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, where she had gotten a new job, when she was pulled over by a state trooper for failing to use a turn signal in Prairie View, northwest of Houston. The encounter, which was filmed by Encinia’s dashboard camera, quickly escalated. The driver and officer exchange heated words, and Encinia eventually threatened to use a stun again against Bland—“I will light you up!”—dragged her out of the car, and arrested her. Bland was taken to Waller County jail, where she was found hanged with a plastic trash bag from a metal barrier in her cell. Medical examiners ruled her death a suicide.
Bland’s family disputed the account that she killed herself. As my colleague David Graham wrote in July:
Almost as soon as Bland died, her family and many black Americans assumed the worst. They were skeptical of official explanations and pessimistic about the odds of a thorough and fair investigation. A popular hashtag, #IfIDieInCustody, became a forum to express that skepticism and the fear of being disappeared into a jail—or, like Freddie Gray, a police wagon—and emerging dead or near death, with no explanation and little evidence to explain what happened beyond the official account.
Cannon Lambert, a lawyer for the Bland family, called the grand jury proceedings a “sham of a process,” and that family members first learned there was no indictment through news reports.
“We would like very much to know what in the heck they’re doing, who they’re targeting and if it has anything to do with Sandy and her circumstances,” Lambert told The New York Times Monday night.
The Bland family in August filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Encinia and two guards at the Waller County jail; the trial is scheduled for January 2017.
above from: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/12/sandra-bland-texas-indictment/421599/
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