As the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to grow, it's imperative that we share information about incidents that involve Black women. According to Mic News, in a report from the African American Policy forum, the lack of attention to the murders of black women by police has gone on for decades and leaves black women extremely vulnerable. The #SayHerName hashtag and related demonstrations stemming from the BlackOUT Collective in Oakland, CA have amplified this cause. Unfortunately, the names Sandra Bland and Kindra Chapman are the latest to be added to a growing list of names of black women that have died at the hands of police or while in police custody. Ironically enough, news of the death of Sandra Bland came during a week when we were also remembering the legacy of Ida B. Wells. The discussion of both Sandra Bland and Kindra Chapman led to the growing conversation around the hashtag #IfIDieInPoliceCustody

Below are some key facts that have emerged from both incidents:

Sandra Bland

Photo: The Root/Facebook
 
  1. Sandra Bland, 28, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and a graduate of Prairie View A&M University. (Heavy.com)
  2. Prior to being pulled over, Sandra Bland, an Illinois native, “had recently accepted a job as a student outreach coordinator at Prairie View A&M, her alma mater, and was driving near the campus when she was pulled over.” (Gawker.com)
  3. After being pulled over because she failed to use her turning signal, she was arrested for assaulting an officer, held in police custody for three days, and then died from alleged suicide on Monday in Waller County Jail. (dailykos.com)
  4. [Trigger warning] In a newly released video, shot by a bystander of the arrest of Sandra Bland, “the video shows police on top of Bland, who is on the ground with several officers restraining her as she questions why they are being so rough.” (ABC7 Chicago)
  5. Inconsistencies in the account from police and what actually happened are already being raised in the media because according to the Chicago Tribune, she was arrested Friday and released Monday on a $5,000 bond, the same day she was discovered by a female jailer who wanted to see if she wanted “recreation time”. (EBONY Magazine)
  6. With intense scrutiny from family and friends, and raised attention around the hashtag #SandraBland on social media, the FBI is joining the Texas Rangers in investigating the cause of Sandra Bland’s death. (New York Times)
  7. Not only has the Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith been fired from a previous job due to racism allegations, but Sandra Bland’s alleged “suicide” is not the first at Waller County Jail. There were four others according to Shaun King. (Heavy.com)
  8. Preceding her death, Sandra Bland recorded a series of videos about police brutality and racial injustice called “Sandy Speaks.” (Vice.com, Heavy.com)
 

Kindra Champman

Source: The Root/Facebook
 
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