Editorial: FBI Now Investigating Sandra Bland's Death
FBI officials are joining the Texas Rangers in investigating the details surrounding the death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland.
Bland died on Monday morning in Prairie View, Texas, three days after she was pulled over and arrested during a routine traffic stop. According to a statement from the Department of Public Safety, Bland was "uncooperative" during the encounter. It is unclear how the arrest began, but witness video shows a police officer kneeling on her back and arresting her.
On Monday morning, a fellow inmate found Bland hanging from the ceiling of her jail cell by a plastic trash bag. She was pronounced dead shortly thereafter, and a medical examiner ruled her death a suicide.
Bland's family said that the 28-year-old had recently moved from Chicago to Texas after accepting a job at Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater.
Bland, who was very vocal on social media about the Black Lives Mater movement, had posted a video to her Facebook earlier this year, in which she recounted her struggle with depression and PTSD. However, her friends and family are skeptical that she would take her own life.
"I talked to her Friday, and she was in good spirits," her friend, LaVaughn Mosely, said to USA TODAY. "Although she was incarcerated, she was in good spirits. She was looking forward to posting bond Saturday and getting out. So you don't go from that to hanging yourself."
Bland's family has hired an attorney and is planning on sitting down with the lead investigators on Monday.