Prairie View City Council Decides to Keep Sandra Bland Memorial Street Name

Three days after her arrest in July, Sandra Bland was found dead in her cell at Waller County Jail.
Three days after her arrest in July, Sandra Bland was found dead in her cell at Waller County Jail.
Facebook screenshot

The street named in memory of Sandra Bland will stay that way. 

Last night, the Prairie View city council voted 4-1 to uphold its decision to name the road where Bland was arrested "Sandra Bland Memorial Parkway," the as the Houston Chronicle first reported. The council first voted to rename the road, formerly known as University Drive, in August. Less than a month later, some council members evidently were having second thoughts.

According to the meeting's agenda, councilwoman Paulette Matthews-Barnett called for the new vote. Before the original vote in August, Matthews-Barnett presented a counter motion to hold a meeting to solicit more input from the public, which was rejected. She abstained from the August vote. 

"I wasn't against it," Matthews-Barnett, who was the only council member to vote against keeping the street name last night, told the Chronicle on Tuesday before the meeting. "I just wanted everybody to be included." 

This time, about 100 people packed the meeting and many had a chance to speak before the council. According to the Chronicle, some residents felt that there were people who were more deserving of having a street named after them than Bland, while others spoke about police violence and shared memories of Bland.

The new vote confirmed the first, meaning Bland's name will stick on the road where she was arrested in July. Three days after the arrest, Bland's body was found hanging in her cell at Waller County Jail, and her death has sparked multiple law enforcement investigations and international protests over police relations with minorities and the treatment of mentally ill inmates. Bland's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last month. 


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