One year, two months and two days after Sandra Bland committed suicide in a Waller County, Texas jail cell, her family has reached a sizable settlement with the state. According to a new report in the New York Times, per the developing outcome of the wrongful death civil suit filed last December, the Bland family will receive $1.9 million, while the Waller County jail will make certain improvements to its facility, policies and procedures regarding inmate safety and care.
Of the $1.9 million settlement, $1.8 will come directly from the Waller County jail. The other $100,000 will be paid to the Bland family by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which was also named in the wrongful death civil suit. As for the particular of what the jail will do to meet the additional conditions, Houston ABC affiliate KTRK spoke with Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal:
“Right now, my joy is in the fact that there will be real changes from here forward. Waller County jail has now got to… they’ve agreed to provide on-duty nurses or emergency medical techs for all shifts … In addition to that, to prevent future document falsifications, Waller County jail will also use automated electronic sensors to ensure the accurate and timely cell checks. That was something that was very imperative for me. It was very important… The biggest deal here, is that Waller County also will be actively seeking the passage of state legislation to provide more funds for the jail intakings, inmate screenings, training and all additional jail support.”
Following Sandra Bland’s death on July 13, 2015, Texas officials initially ruled it a suicide. However, the bizarre details of Bland’s death, the dashcam footage of her arrest (which was released after the fact), and allegations of a police coverup turned the tide of the investigation and public opinion.