Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old black woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell after a traffic stop, name is living on in more than one way these ways – including the wrongful death lawsuit filed by her family after medical examiner’s ruled that her death was a suicide.
On Thursday (Dec. 17), U.S. District Judge David Hittner set a trial date for Jan. 23, 2017 for the civil lawsuit filed by Bland’s family.
Cannon Lambert, the Bland family’s lead attorney, told Hittner he couldn’t accept the ruling suicide that suggested Bland hung herself in her jail cell by using a plastic garbage bag as a ligature. For Lambert, the fact that his legal team hasn’t been able to examine the report of an investigation of the case by the Texas Rangers following Bland’s death is a major issue.
“We’ve not had occasion to assess fingerprints on the ligature,” Lambert told the judge. “A lot of information we frankly don’t have. We’re not able to finish our own medical investigation.
Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, in addition to family members and supports gathered at the federal courthouse in downtown Houston for a status hearing in the civil case.
“I’m coming here before you to tell you I’m not OK,” Reed-Veal said. “Coming out of this hearing today, I’m not OK. My daughter is gone. I have now celebrated one holiday without her. It is tough. I walked into these doors with continuations, dates, delays. I’m coming out of these doors with continuations, dates and delays.”