Civil Liberties

Sandra Bland Jailhouse Hanging Being Investigated as a Possible Murder


The jailhouse hanging death of 28-year-old police-reform activist Sandra Bland outside of Houston earlier this month smelled fishy from the get-go, and not just because she was originally pulled over for failing to make a turn signal before a lane change. The Texas Department of Public Safety quickly suspended the officer on the scene, Brian Encina, and now comes word that, despite Bland's death being ruled a suicide by the medical examiner, the case is now being investigated as a possible murder:

"This is being treated like a murder investigation," Elton Mathis, Waller County's district attorney, said at a press conference Monday. 

Mathis said he made the determination after talking to Bland's family and to those who saw her last, including the bail bondsman, who was among the last to hear from her alive. […]

"There are too many questions that need to be resolved. Ms. Bland's family does make valid points. She did have a lot of things going on in her life for good," Mathis said.

The district attorney also said the dashboard video of the traffic stop in Prairie View that was retrieved from Encinia's patrol car would be released on Tuesday.

I was on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show Sunday to talk about the case, along with Bland's sister and the family lawyer, who also characterized that dash-cam video: