Family of Woman Found Dead In Texas Jail Cell Calls for Autopsy

This undated handout photo provided by the Waller County Sheriff’s Office shows Sandra Bland. (Waller County Sheriff’s Office, via AP)

(WTNH) The family of a Chicago-area woman who police say hanged herself in a Texas jail is disputing the account, and has ordered an independent autopsy.

Sandra Bland was pulled over in Hempstead, Texas on July 10th, for allegedly failing to signal a lane change.  State officials say she became uncooperative, and was taken into custody after allegedly kicking an officer.  Three days later, she was found dead in her cell.  A medical examiner ruled it a suicide by asphyxiation.

Bland’s family and friends say she would not have killed herself.  She was in Texas to apply for a job at Prairie View A&M University, from which she graduated in 2009.  County authorities in Hempstead there were no cameras monitoring the jail cell where Bland was found dead, but that video of the hallway outside the cell show no one entering or leaving between the time she last spoke with deputies and when her body was found.

Results from the private autopsy are expected in two-to-three days.   The state trooper who pulled her over has been cited by officials for violating traffic stop and courtesy procedures, and has been placed on administrative leave.

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