The family of Sandra Bland, who was arrested in Prairie View, Texas, and was later found dead in her jail cell, announced Tuesday that they’re suing authorities in Texas.
NPR’s Wade Goodwyn reported for our Newscast unit that the wrongful-death lawsuit names the Texas state trooper who arrested Bland, the sheriff of Waller County, the Texas Department of Public Safety and two guards at the jail. “Among other things, the lawsuit accuses the state trooper of depriving Bland of her constitutional rights,” Wade says.
Bland, 28, had driven to Texas from Illinois. The confrontation that led to her arrest began when she allegedly failed to signal a lane change. Three days later, she was found hanging in her cell. The coroner deemed Bland’s death a suicide.
Bland’s family has questioned the medical examiner’s determination of suicide, says NPR’s Martin Kaste. “But her sister Sharon Cooper says that even if it was suicide, the trooper mishandled the stop,” Martin says.
Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said at a news conference, “The bottom line is: She never should have been inside of the jail, period.”
You can read more about Sandra Bland and her arrest here.