| Courts |

Jailers Knew Sandra Bland Had Recently Attempted Suicide

Sandra Bland attempted suicide earlier this year and the Waller County Jail knew about it, according to a booking sheet recently released by the Waller County District Attorney's office.

When Bland was booked following her arrest on July 10, she answered a question on the form by saying she had attempted suicide in 2015. 

14. Have you ever attempted suicide? If yes... when? Why? How?


Bland was found dead in her cell three days later. Officials initially said Bland committed suicide by hanging her self with a plastic garbage bag. Amid questions from her family and a national outcry over her death, state and federal officials have since launched investigations into Bland's death.  

The booking documents released Wednesday afternoon also show Bland told jailers she suffered from epilepsy and was taking Keppra, an anti-epileptic medication which, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration medication guide released in July 2013, "may cause suicidal thoughts in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500, taking it." The drug can also cause "agitation, anger, aggression... hostility, mood swings, and irritability." Bland was arrested after a traffic stop turned confrontational. 

Last Monday, we reported the Texas Commission on Jail Standards cited Waller County officials for substandard training in how to handle potentially suicidal and mentally disabled inmates. The jail was also cited for failing to monitor inmates according to minimum state standards. 

Although the booking report is self-conflicting—on her intake questionnaire, jailers put "no" next to the question "Attempted Suicide?"—it certainly calls into further question the jail's handling of Bland before her death.

Here's the booking sheet: 

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