Sandra Bland, a native of Chicago, was 28 years old and recently moved to Texas to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University.

But Bland died in police custody three days after she was arrested during a traffic stop. Bland’s death was ruled a “suicide” and her family and friends aren’t buying it.

Bland’s death in police custody comes on the heels of the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore. The officers involved in Gray’s death were charged and arrested.

Here’s everything we know about Bland and her untimely death!

1. Bland was arrested on Friday for allegedly assaulting a police officer and “improperly signaling.”

According to reports, Bland was arrested Friday and charged with “assault on a public servant.”

She was pulled over by officers during a traffic stop for “improper signaling of a lane change.” Authorities in Texas’ Waller County allege Bland assaulted a deputy.

A bystander caught the entire incident on video. The near two-minute clip shows deputies standing over Bland as she lies on the ground. She was asking officers why they were being so rough with her.

Bland can be clearly heard stating, “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that?”

A friend of Bland, Malcolm Jackson told ABC 7 the officer “pulled her out of the car, forced her, and tossed her to the ground, knee to the neck, and arrested her.”

Authorities told the news station, Bland was “combative on side of the road.”

2. Bland was about to start a new job at Prairie View A&M University.

Bland was in Texas for a job interview with her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. Her family told the news station Bland was offered the job and was going to start her new role in student outreach on Wednesday, July 15.

3. Bland’s death was ruled a suicide but her family and friends aren’t buying it.

Three days after Bland’s arrest, local authorities said Bland was found dead in her cell Monday morning.

“She was not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” a sheriff from Waller County stated in a press release issued over Facebook.

An autopsy reports Bland’s death was suicide by hanging. A district attorney in the county said there’s “no information to suspect foul play.”

One of Bland’s friends, LaNitra Dean told ABC 7, “The Waller County jail is trying to rule her death a suicide and Sandy would not have taken her own life.” Dean said, “Sandy was strong. Strong mentally and spiritually.”

4. Bland is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

During her undergrad studies at Prairie View, Bland pledged the historic African-American Sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Incorporated, a non-profit organization committed to community service and scholarship.

Bland’s sorority sisters have been vocal on Twitter. One of Bland’s friends and a sorority sister she pledged with, spoke to Watch the Yard stating, “suicide would be the last thing on her mind.”

Alana Taylor’s statement on Bland:

“Sandra Bland is my line sister. Her personality and outlook on life alone DOES NOT resemble uncertainty or depression. She was a strong force that took life head on. Suicide would be the LAST thing on her mind as she was on the brink of starting a new chapter of life: a new job, a strong cause to fight for and a thick network of support. There are just too many discrepancies and holes in the official report. As far as her friends, chapter, alma mater and family are concerned: Sandy is still speaking and somebody is gonna listen. #SandySpeaks”

5. The Texas Rangers are investigating Bland’s untimely death.

District Attorney Elton Mathis told the Chicago Tribune, “I understand there’s some disbelief among some friends and family that she would do this to herself. That’s why it’s important that the Texas Rangers be allowed to conduct a thorough investigation.”

Waller County’s press release also states:

“Sheriff R. Glenn Smith states that any loss of life is a tragic incident and while the investigation is being conducted by outside agencies, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office will continue to observe the daily operations of the jail to always look for improvements and/or preventions of these incidents.”

6. #SandraBland is trending on Twitter.

Bland’s death in police custody is currently trending on Twitter and many users are questioning if she really took her own life.

7. Bland was very vocal about racism and police brutality.

Bland’s Facebook profile picture reads: “Now legalize being Black in America.”

Her profile’s header photo is an illustration of Dylann Roof (the White man who killed nine Black people at the Charleston, South Carolina Emanuel A.M.E. church in June) sitting in the back of a police car eating a burger while a Black man next to him is in handcuffs and brutalized.


Bland posted a video speaking out about ongoing police brutality around the United States stating, “This thing that I’m holding in my hand, this telephone, this camera, it is quite powerful. Social media is powerful. If we wanna change, we can truly make it happen.”

Geneva S. Thomas

Geneva S. Thomas

Geneva is the founder of Jawbreaker, which she plans on turning into an intergalactic all-girl army that will someday storm the streets of the world in studded bras and Tom Ford boots. She recently took up archery and collects more books than shoes.