What started with an improper lane change July 10 ended with a woman's death in Waller County Jail three days later, and now the Texas Rangers are investigating.
Sandra Bland, 28, was found unresponsive in her cell on the morning of July 13 from "what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation," according to a statement from the Waller County Sheriff's Office.
A widely circulated video claims to show a witness' recording of her arrest, in which a woman complains that an officer has "slammed" her head into the ground. Bland had been pulled over for not signaling and making an improper lane change, but she then became "combative," officials have claimed.
Friends told reporters that Bland had just relocated from suburban Chicago to take a job at Prairie View A&M, her alma mater.
Her friend LaVaughn Mosley told KPRC, "Anyone who knows Sandy Bland knows she has a thirst for life. She was planning for the future, and she came here to start that future, so to say she killed herself is totally absurd."
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Bland was an outspoken supporter of the #blacklivesmatter movement, which seems to have fueled her friends' and family members' suspicion of foul play.
"We're very suspicious and we're a very tight community and we're very upset that this has happened and it seems like there's nothing really being done about it," Mosley told KPRC.
Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis told ABC-7 Chicago that "I do not have any information that would make me think it was anything other than just a suicide."
Harris County District Court records show that Bland pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana in 2010 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. (An accompanying DUI charge was dismissed).