On Monday, the puzzling death of Sandra Bland grew even more mysterious after a Texas grand jury declined to issue indictments. Many questions still exist for the woman whose death (while in police custody) was officially ruled a suicide, and the case rustled up concerns involving criminal procedure and police brutality. Bland’s police booking report carried several inconsistencies, and a judge handling her case was less than professional while discussing the matter on Twitter and to the press.
Still, grand jurors in Texas decided there wasn’t sufficient evidence to indict anyone in the death of Bland, who was pulled over for a traffic stop, which led to her hanging death three days later. Special prosecutor Darrell Jordan insists grand jurors would return in January to continue portions of the case not yet discussed, so the case isn’t finished yet:
“It’s all in the way you phrase it. The case is not over. That’s what I’m stressing right now. The case is not over.”
A Bland family lawyer, Cannon Lambert, isn’t satisfied with this explanation:
“We are unfortunately disappointed by the fact that our suspicions regarding this sham of a process have come to fruition. We would like very much to know what in the heck they’re doing, who they’re targeting and if it has anything to do with Sandy and her circumstances.”
The lack of indictments from the grand jury has upset many who believe Bland’s death was not a suicide. One of those voices just happens to be presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who is pulling no punches with his press release:
“Sandra Bland should not have died in police custody. There’s no doubt in my mind that she, like too many African-Americans who die in police custody, would be alive today if she were a white woman.”
Here’s The Bern’s complete statement, and he’s going in hard.