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Panel Says Sandra Bland’s Death Sheds Light On Issues Faced By Black Women

A Houston panel discussed the case, saying Bland’s story still resonates with many people.



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The panel discusses how the Sandra Bland case still resonates with many people.
28-year-old Sandra Bland had just moved to Texas from Illinois. Her family says she was thrilled to begin a job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. It’s a common story in Texas, people moving to the state in search of opportunity. Cristal Truscott is an assistant professor at Prairie View A&M. She says Bland’s death seems to resonate with people because they can relate to her.

“In a general sense, Sandra Bland was an example that breaks the stereotype of who is treated violently,” Truscott says.

Panelists say Bland’s death has shed light on another issue facing the African-American community. Shekira Dennis is cofounder of the Houston Justice Coalition. She says the death of a black woman doesn’t draw as much attention as much as that of a black man.

“Women are actually being affected by cases of police brutality as well, and so it’s our responsibility to amplify cases such as Sandra Bland and many other women who shall remain nameless to this very day who don’t get that same exposure,” Dennis says.

Bland was arrested during a traffic stop on July 10. Three days later, she was found dead in her cell of an apparent suicide. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The Texas Attorney General’s office responded, asking the judge to throw out the complaint because the law enforcement agency has immunity.

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