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Hundreds Turn Out For Sandra Bland Prayer Vigil In Prairie View

Hundreds of people attended a prayer vigil on the Prairie View A&M University campus Sunday in honor of Sandra Bland.


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Vigil inside church
Community members and religious leaders gathered Sunday for a prayer vigil in honor of Sandra Bland on the Prairie View A&M campus.

Students, community organizers and religious leaders gathered at a chapel Sunday on the Prairie View A&M campus.

The historically black university is also Sandra Bland’s alma mater. She was set to begin a job here when she was pulled over and arrested on July 10. Bland was found dead in jail just three days later of an apparent suicide.

Frederick Roberts is a former faculty member who says he knew Bland when she was a student.  He says gatherings like these offer some healing for a community that’s been shocked by Bland’s death.

“It shows some respect for the situation, but it also causes people to say that we’re not sitting down and taking what somebody says,” Roberts says.

Dashcam footage of Bland’s arrest and jail surveillance tape offered a glimpse into what happened, but many in the community still have questions. Davon McGruder, 26, heard about the prayer vigil on social media and drove from Houston to attend. He says he’s been following the developments closely, and he wants an independent investigation into why Bland was arrested and how she died.   

“It’s just too many holes, not enough answers yet,” McGruder says. “Just going to wait, wait for the facts to come out.”

The case is set to go to a grand jury next month.