Family of Sandra Bland Has Ordered Independent Autopsy

Sandra Bland
Sandra Bland

The family of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman whose body was found in a Texas jail three days after she was arrested, has ordered an independent autopsy as questions about how she died remain unanswered.


"We want to understand how it is that this kind of played out and what will end up ultimately being the cause of death," family attorney Cannon Lambert told ABC News.

The autopsy was ordered Sunday, and the results are expected within 48-72 hours, ABC News reports.

Bland was in the process of moving to Texas from Naperville, Ill., because she'd just gotten a job working in student outreach with her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. On July 10, Bland was stopped by police for reportedly failing to use her signal when changing lanes. Police allege that Bland became combative during the arrest. Video from the incident appears to show Bland on the ground with two police officers on her back. She can be heard shouting that one of the officers slammed her head into the ground. Bland was arrested and found dead in her cell three days later.

Although an autopsy performed by the state found that Bland died "by self-inflicted asphyxiation," hanging herself with a plastic bag, her family have been adamant that they do not believe Bland killed herself. Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis has stated that he finds it suspicious that a woman with so much life ahead of her would kill herself, but added that video, which doesn't show inside the cell Bland was placed in, does show that no one had been in or out of the cell before Bland was found dead, ABC News reports.

On Thursday a prosecutor is expected to present the Texas Rangers' investigation to a grand jury. ABC News notes that the FBI is also investigating the circumstances surrounding Bland's death.

Read more at ABC News.