HEMPSTEAD, TX - With chants of 'no justice, no peace' about 70 demonstrators turned up at the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead to protest a Chicago woman`s apparent suicide while in the Waller County Jail.
Sandra Bland, 28, was in jail for allegedly assaulting a DPS trooper who stopped her for not signaling a lane change. That was Friday afternoon. Jailers found her Monday morning, hanging in her cell with a garbage bag around her neck.
Bland was scheduled to start a job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M.
The Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating her death, but protesters want US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to open a Department of Justice investigation.
Adding to the concern of activists is a report from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards that says the Waller County Jail failed on two counts while Bland was incarcerated.
Brandon Woods, the executive director of the Texas commission on Jail Standards tells NewsFix that the first one is supervision. Inmates are supposed to be checked once every 60 minutes. The second is staff training for potentially suicidal inmates.
In a Facebook video Bland posted on March 1, in which says talks about her PTSD and a current bout of depression.
DPS Statement Regarding Texas Ranger Investigation
AUSTIN – The Department of Public Safety (DPS) values and strives to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the public through our actions based on fairness, respect and courteously serving those we contact.
In the preliminary review of the traffic stop that occurred in Prairie View on July 10, 2015, involving Sandra Bland, we have identified violations of the department’s procedures regarding traffic stops and the department’s courtesy policy.
Pending the outcome of the Texas Ranger and FBI investigation into this incident, the employee involved has been assigned administrative duties. At the conclusion of this investigation, any violations of protocols will be addressed.
The District Attorney and DPS have also requested that the FBI conduct a forensic analysis of the videos related to this case. The video footage will be shared with the public as soon as possible.