According to a text message sent to Sandra Bland’s family by the Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis, Bland swallowed a large quantity of marijuana or smoked it in the jail.

That’s right. Apparently Bland was either swallowing or smoking weed while in jail.

I might not be an expert, but something isn’t adding up here. While the DA says she had traces of marijuana in her system — which still doesn’t justify her death in police custody — why is no one asking how in the world she had access to it while in jail? It’s a taken-for-granted issue, and it’s important to interrogate some details as this “self-evident” claim is entertained as fact.

There are many questions need to be raised. Here are mine:

  1. If Sandra Bland was booked in an orange jumpsuit, as her mug shot suggests, would that not mean that she had been searched and relinquished all of her belongings?
  2. If Bland handed over everything she had upon her arrival, how did she manage to gain access to the marijuana that was “found in her system?”
  3. If the DA claims that she consumed — either by swallowing or smoking — marijuana while in custody, while having no access to the things brought with her to the jail, how does that not mean someone in the jail gave her the marijuana?
  4. How could it have been made possible for Bland to possess marijuana when everything she came in with was stored away unless someone at the jail offered it to her?
  5. Who were the people at the jail during the time that Bland was in custody and who among them had access to marijuana?
  6. Under what circumstances is it possible for police officers in Texas to allow someone to consume marijuana, let alone large quantities, while in custody?
  7. If Bland consumed (especially by smoking) a massive amount of marijuana, how could officers have missed the distinct odor?
  8. If Bland smoked marijuana while in custody and the police officers in charge were unable to detect it, what exactly did she have access to in the cell to mask the odor?

What other parts of the picture being painted before us are we missing here?

How does her access to marijuana in jail not point, again, to glaring misconduct of officers while on duty?

Don’t be afraid to ask. Sandra wasn’t, and as police and media figure out new tactics to point fingers at her, and not the Waller County police force, for being responsible for her death despite conspicuous circumstances everywhere, we can’t afford to be either.

We get justice by asking questions. It is our right. It is our duty. For ourselves, but more importantly, for Sandra Bland.

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