Sandra Bland used Facebook as a diary of sorts. She would post stream of consciousness videos on a variety of topics, from going natural with her hair to the Black Lives Matter movement. She called the videos “Sandy Speaks.” She called her viewers “kings and queens.” Some five months before she would be found dead in a Texas jail cell, she posted a video apologizing to her friends for having been absent from posting for a while.
“I’m suffering from something that some of you all may be dealing with right now. It’s a little bit of depression, as well as PTSD,” she said in the Facebook video from March 1.
She added in the post that she had been stressed out the past couple of weeks, but also noted, “That does not excuse me not keeping my promise to you all by letting you know that someone cares about you, that someone loves you and that you can go out there and do great things.”
The 28-year-old Illinois woman died in police custody in what police have claimed was suicide by asphyxiation, but her family and friends don’t believe she would have killed herself.
Bland had driven from Illinois to Texas to start a job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M. On July 10, Bland was pulled over by Waller County police for what they say was failing to signal while changing lanes. Police claim that she became combative during the stop. Video from the incident shows two officers holding Bland down on the ground. She can be heard yelling, “You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear.”
Bland was arrested, and on Monday morning she was found unresponsive in her cell. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
As the story of what led to Bland’s death continues to unfold, the Daily Beast reports that she made a call to a bail bondsman and her sister while she was in custody.
“I talked to her when she first went to jail,” bondsman Joe Booker of Hempstead, Texas, told the Daily Beast. “I called her mother for her.”
Although Bland’s bail was listed as $5,000, with the help of a bail bondsman she would have needed to pay only 10 percent of that—$500—to be released from jail.