Sandra Bland and Black Female Demonization

Sandra Bland was 28 when she died. But, she wasn’t living the life of your average 28 year old. A Chicago native, she was to work in student outreach at Prairie View (her alma mater). A member of Sigma Gamma Rho, she was an avid force behind activism and believing in God’s blessings (see one of her videos for details). It can be easily seen that Sandra Bland was a great woman that strived for the excellence of herself and others.

sandra-bland-mugshot-suicide_1_640xYet, her death was ruled a suicide. And by suicide, I mean right after the police manhandled her for a minor traffic offense and put her in jail. And I’m not saying she didn’t commit suicide. What I’m saying is that situations like this is all too common.

Meanwhile, the man that took the video of the incident was told to leave. And then there is this info to ponder:

A statement released by law firm representing Bland’s family reads, “The family of Sandra Bland is confident that she was killed and did not commit suicide. The family has retained counsel to investigate Sandy’s death.” A relative has asked Twitter users to use the hashtag #JusticeForSandra “so that our family cam get justice for her.”

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis has acknowledged the concerns of those who say she would not have committed suicide and suspect that her death involved foul play by law enforcement authorities.

“I will admit it is strange someone who had everything going for her would have taken her own life,” he told NBC station KPRC in Houston. “That’s why it’s very important a thorough investigation is done and that we get a good picture of what Ms. Bland was going through the last four or five days of her life. [1]

From the video and the accounts from her friends and family, there is something terribly wrong. Still, this isn’t some random event. Black female demonization is becoming the norm.

Sandra Bland and Other Black Female Victims

The bigger problem isn’t that Sandra Bland dies mysteriously from a suicide that made no sense for her commit. Nor is the bigger problem of some type of mental health issues going undiagnosed. The bigger problem, from my standpoint, is Sandra Bland isn’t alone. The bigger problem is that Sandra Bland is another name to add to the long list of Black females that have died in confrontations with the police.

Sandra Bland 1

Let me rattle off some names:

Gabriella Navarez, Aura Rosser, Michelle Cusseaux, Tanisha Anderson, Alexia Christian, Meagan Hockaday, Miriam Carey, Janisha Fonville, Natasha McKenna, Sheneque Proctor, and Kindra Chapman.

All of them died from some sort of confrontation with the police. A few of them actually died in police custody while in jail (for whatever reason deserving or not). All of these situations have one thing in common: police incompetence.

Sandra Bland Should Be At Work Today

All of this brings about one simple conclusion: Sandra Bland should be alive today. Whether she did commit suicide is something I cannot answer. However, a lot of this situation could have been alleviated if the police handled their business a lot better. Then again, this is just another added life to the laundry list of Black females that die within police custody. It remains to be seen how all of this plays out within the history of Black female demonization.

[Originally posted at Chocolate Covered Lies]