The Brief: Sandra Bland’s Family Asks for Independent Autopsy
by Polo Rocha The Big ConversationThe family of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old who died in a Waller County Jail cell last week, has asked for an independent autopsy after disputing officials’ statements that she committed suicide.Bland, who was found hanged in her cell, was in jail on a charge of assaulting an officer during a traffic stop — a stop that the Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday had “violations” of traffic stop procedures. Her family has now asked for an independent autopsy and should get the results in the next few days, the family’s attorney told ABC News.DPS and the FBI are investigating Bland’s death. Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said at a news conference Friday that her death “will not be swept under the rug.”The Prairie View A&M graduate from Illinois was back in Texas to start a job at her alma mater. And in both states, Bland’s family members, friends and community members honored her life but “continued to raise questions Sunday about her startling death,” as the Tribune’s Sophia Bollag and Ally Mutnick report:With clasped hands and bowed heads, hundreds of congregants of the DuPage African Methodist Episcopalian Church in Lisle filed slowly out of the sanctuary and held a prayer walk around the church grounds, wearing white ribbons to honor Bland, who had worshipped there with her family for 18 years.More than 1,100 miles away, in Prairie View, 100 or so gathered for a similar service at the Hope AME Church, including two of Bland’s other sisters and several Texas elected officials.