*July 13 will mark two years since the death of Sandra Bland, the African American woman who had moved to Waller County, Texas to start a new job; but ended up being pulled over and manhandled by a cop named Brian Encinia for an alleged traffic violation, and two days later, was found hanging in her cell at the Waller County jail. The coroner called her death a suicide, but many, including the family, didn’t buy it.
Out of Bland’s death a movement called Black Lives Matter was born.
Geneva Reed-Veal, Sandra Bland’s mother, recently collected a priority mail box from the Waller County jail that holds her daughter’s belongings. In an emotional exclusive video, a strong and determined Reed-Veal speaks to reporter Kaitlin McCulley of ABC13 as she reveals the contents in the box. She let’s out a faint sigh as she holds in her flood of emotion and begins to go through the box.
“This is her sundress. And this is what she changed into the orange garb in,” she explains, telling us that it was the last thing her daughter wore that actually belonged to her. Continue reading →
*July 13 will mark two years since the death of the woman whose racial profiling incident sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. Sandra Bland was 28-years-old when a police officer in Texas Waller County pulled her over for not signaling a lane change. Something that would — or dare I say, should — under normal circumstances, have resulted in a fine or even a warning, escalated into a major event that would ultimately turn fatal. Little reminder is needed as we recall the horrific way that Bland was forcefully removed from her car by the cop because she wouldn’t extinguish her cigarette. Moreover, as seen on a recording by a dashcam video, she was threatened by an obviously short-tempered officer who pulled a stun gun or her and threatened, “I will light you up!”
When the incident hit social media emotions ran high. But they reached a boiling point when Bland was discovered hung in her jail cell three days later and her death was ruled a suicide.
Adding insult to injury, the arresting officer, a state trooper named Brian T. Encinia, had attempted to justify the arrest by charging Bland with ‘assaulting a public servant.’ But thanks to the video, a perjury charge and subsequent trial held Encinia accountable and he was ultimately fired for the way he handled Bland’s arrest.Continue reading →