After meeting for more than eight hours, a Texas grand jury Monday decided that there will be no indictments of any officers or jail workers who came in contact with Sandra Bland.
“After reviewing all the evidence in the death of Sandra Bland, a Waller grand jury did not return an indictment in the death of Bland; nor were any indictments returned against any employee of the Waller County Jail,” Darrell Jordan, a special prosecutor handling the case, told CNN.
Bland was arrested July 10 for reportedly failing to use her car’s turn signal. She was found dead in her cell three days later. Bland’s death sparked national attention as many argued that the arrest and subsequent jailing never should have happened.
Waller County, Texas, officials claim Bland became despondent after learning that her family would be unable to immediately bail her out and that she hanged herself with a plastic bag. Bland’s family and friends have argued that she never would have committed suicide because she has just arrived in town from Chicago to start a new job.
“We are not going to allow what they have done in a limited, secret capacity to prevent us from doing what we need to do to get answers for the family,” Bland-family attorney Cannon Lambert told KPRC after learning of the grand jury’s decision.
Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, has been critical of the handling of the case from the beginning and has questioned why the grand jury testimony hasn’t been open to the public.
“Right now the biggest problem for me is the entire process,” Reed-Veal said, according to CNN. “I simply can’t have faith in a system that’s not inclusive of my family that’s supposed to have the investigation.”
CNN notes that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has even weighed in on the racial bias surrounding Bland’s death and the subsequent investigation.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that she, like too many African Americans who die in police custody, would be alive today if she were a white woman,” he said, CNN reports. “We need to reform a very broken criminal-justice system.”
Read more at CNN.