By: Obehi Imarenezor
Tragedy in the form of what many have declared racial profiling has hit home for millions of Americans who have coined the recent phrase “I am Sandra Bland”. The story of Sandra Bland begins as a simple one that has resulted in the alleged suicide of an innocent African-American woman. On the early afternoon of July 10th, 2015, Texas state trooper Brian Encinia pulled over Bland for a routine traffic violation in which she was said to have failed to signal a turn.
Controversial dash cam footage released by Texas authorities show a clear altercation between Bland and the officer. Although the video lacks visuals of Encinia and Bland, the dispute could be heard through clear audio from the footage. The audio implies that there was argumentative dialogue, which lead to Bland being arrested on the charge of assaulting a police officer and from that point, the series of events only escalate. Thanks to a bystander, footage of Sandra being violently thrown to the ground and being manhandled has went viral, igniting outrage around the nation.
Bland was taken to Waller County Jail in Texas where her bond was set at $5,000 dollars and three days later was found dead on the floor of her cell. According to CNN reports, “the Waller county prosecutors told reporters that the cause of Bland’s death was hanging and that she had committed suicide.” Contrary to the prosecutors report Bland’s family disputes the results of the autopsy stating that it was out of character for Bland.
This controversy of the Bland’s case is attributed to the rising epidemic of racial profiling, specifically toward African Americans. Millions of people via social media have expressed their dismay toward authorities due to her death appearing to be an unjust act of police brutality. As the nation mourns the death of Sandra Bland, we must continue to stay resilient and fight for the rights of disadvantaged minorities everywhere. While Sandra Bland is now resting in peace, we must honor Ms. Bland and see to it that an end to racial profiling will soon come to this nation. Until then, may Sandra rest in peace, and may her death not be in vain. #SayHerName #JusticeForSandraBland