Lest We Forget

Sandra Bland1987-2015

Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American was pulled over in Texas on July 10, 2015 by State Trooper Brian Encinia for failing to signal a lane change. After she refused to put out her cigarette the exchange with Encinia escalated.

Sandra Bland filmed the dispute with her phone's camera. It shows an infuriated Encinia pulling his stun gun, pointing it at her, yelling: “I’m going to light you up! Get out of the car.”

After getting out of her car she was pushed to the ground by Encinia and other officers. In the video her voice can be heard: "You just slammed my head into the ground."

The force used by the police officers is disturbing, especially since her only offense was failing to signal a lane change. If Sandra Bland had been a white woman she may not have been pulled over in the first place. Furthermore, the video footage shows that she only requested to know why she was being dragged out of her car but she was later charged for assaulting a police officer.

An African-American woman was imprisoned for three days for failing to signal a lane change and refusing to put out her cigarette while sitting in her own car. Three days later, on 13 August 2015, Sandra Bland's body was found in her prison cell, hanging from a plastic garbage bag.