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Chicago native Sandra Bland was just 28 years old when she was found hanging in her Walker County, Texas, jail cell on July 13, 2015.
Bland was stopped and arrested by police during a traffic stop. Just three days later, Bland would be found dead in a jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Today would have been her 36th birthday.
Born on February 7, 1987, in Naperville, Illinois, Bland was raised by a single mother and grew up in the church. After graduating from Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, she earned a marching band scholarship to Prairie View A&M University, a UBCU in Prairie View, Texas, where she became a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.
Bland earned her degree in agriculture at Prairie View in 2009 before moving back home to Illinois in 2015. She was hired as a community outreach coordinator at her alma mater. That same year, Bland began posting thought-provoking videos to her social media, where she touched on various subjects, including speaking out against police brutality.
In the arrest warrant, Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia claimed that Bland was out of control, calling her “combative and uncooperative.” The body camera footage proved otherwise.
“Bland began swinging her elbows at me and then kicked my right leg in the shin,” Encinia said in the statement. “Force was used to subdue Bland to the ground, to which Bland continued to fight back.”
Encina was later indicted on perjury charges and fired.
The family of Bland agreed to a $1.9 million settlement in their wrongful-death civil suit in 2016.
“Right now my emotion is joy, pure joy,” Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, told HLN’s Mike Galanos at the time. “There’s a sense of God’s justice for me.”
In her social media videos, encouraged her followers to love themselves and each other.
“You’ve got to conquer hate with love. And, any time you’re presented with a situation where somebody is being racist or giving false information, really, that’s your time to educate,” Sandra bland
Today, TheHub.News would like to share our tribute video to bland.