“In prisons, it is not at all uncommon to find a prisoner burned or hanged to death in his cell. No matter how suspicious the circumstances, these deaths are always ruled ‘suicides.’ They are usually Black inmates, considered to be a ‘threat to the orderly running of a prison.’ They are usually among the most politically aware and socially conscious inmates in the prison.”
I wanted to start off with this very relevant quote from Assata Shakur. Before earlier today I did not know the specifics of the Sandra Bland case; I only knew it was another act of police brutality. What is bothering me is how police attitude has shifted to comply or die, when the situation is relevant to a Black person. After seeing the much edited video of the traffic stop; although, she was frustrated, at which point did she become violent? Was it the point where she was screaming her ribs were being broken? Or was it the point her head was being banged into the ground? Just as Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and Tamir Rice; America is trying to paint Sandra Bland as the non-compliant black person. Therefore, the purpose of me expressing my opinion is to paint a prettier canvas.
Let’s start with some facts:
- Sandra Bland was a activist for African American rights and spoke out against police brutality.
- The officer whom stopped Ms. Bland was already known for his racist antics.
- The trash bag was not sturdy enough to support Sandra’s weight, and also should not have been in the jail cell because anything that is not bolted to the floor is considered a hazard.
- The panel in which Sandra allegedly hung herself from was 5 feet tall, but it’s physically impossible for a 6 foot person to hang from something a foot shorter than them.
- In a mug shot you are in street clothes not a orange jump suit.
- While standing your shoulders will never be aligned straightly, a shadow should never be visible under your head, and your hair will not be going in a backwards motion.
- Lastly floor is a different texture from wall.
It was clear that Sandra Bland was dead in her mugshot. It is clear that her eyes were forced open and the mugshot was taken as she laid on the floor. It was clear she did not commit suicide. What is not clear is the lack of value for human life. When officers remove that uniform they are people. Why is it that such strong voices have to be silenced? Assata Shakur said this quote in the 80s, why are we allowing a horrid history to plague us again? If an officer takes an oath to protect and serve, what are black people not being protected? Why did Sandra Bland die because she did not comply?
My prayers go out to the family and friend of Sandra Bland. I want to leave you with this. It’s impossible to silence every Black voice, not even a genocide would kill every Black person. It’s time you stand for yourself and stand for your people. Don’t shut up anymore the time is now to wake up. At the rate things are going your name is liable to be next.