FBI joins investigation into death of inmate Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead in her Waller County, Texas, jail cell Monday, July 13, 2015. The medical examiner has ruled her death a suicide, but her family disputes that.

HOUSTON — The FBI has joined the Texas Rangers in investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman in the Waller County jail.

The Harris County medical examiner ruled 28-year-old Sandra Bland’s hanging death was a suicide.

Bland was found in her jail cell Monday morning. The Waller County Sheriff’s Office said she was “not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation” and CPR was immediately performed. Bland was pronounced dead shortly after.

Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith said video shows Bland was alone in her cell before she died.

“It appears she had used a trash bag to hang herself from a partition in the ceiling, which was used to give inmates privacy,” said Elton Mathis, district attorney of Waller County.

Family members and friends have said Bland would never hurt herself. They say she was excited about starting a new job and new life in Texas. She was a graduate of Prairie View A&M in Waller County and had recently accepted a job with the college.

“I talked to her Friday and she was in good spirits,” said LaVaughn Mosely. “Although she was incarcerated she was in good spirits. She was looking forward to posting bond Saturday and getting out. So you don’t go from that to hanging yourself.”
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Source News: USA TODAY
Photo: Courtesy Ashley Anderson