Yesterday (July 25) morning, the funeral for Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who died in a Texas jail cell last week, was held at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Chicago.
According to the Root, the tragic incident spawned from a traffic violation that quickly escalated. On July 10, while driving from Naperville, Ill. to Texas, to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M, Bland was pulled over for not signaling a lane change. She was then arrested and charged with assaulting the arresting officer who said that she was “combative.” She was jailed over the weekend, and was to be released on Monday on a $5,000 bail. However, she was found dead in her cell.
The Harris County Medical Examiner ruled Bland’s death a suicide by asphyxiation, but her immediate family believes it was a homicide and have sought out an independent autopsy. The autopsy was ordered on July 19 and the results are said to be available within 48 to 72 hours.
As her loved ones await the autopsy results, they conducted a funeral service to celebrate her resilience in the blunder of heated race relations and police brutality in the Black community. “Our service will be one of celebration,” Rev. Theresa Dear said according to NBC News. “We’ll be celebrating the life of Sandy Bland. We have much to celebrate. We’re happy that she found her voice, found her purpose in social justice. We celebrate that she walked and lived in her truth.”
Many people shared their condolences for Bland via social media, posting her photo with encouraging words and even hash tagging her name to spread the word of the injustice. Even New York Times op-ed columnist, Charles Blow, was in attendance and shared his thoughts. “
#SandraBland’s funeral was celebratory and defiant,” he tweeted.
The independent autopsy Sandra Bland’s family ordered is still pending. We will keep you updated as the story develops.