Sandra Bland’s Autopsy Details How She Died

…Questions Still Swirling Around the Death of Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland
Sandra Bland
An autopsy submitted a day after Sandra Bland was found dead in a Texas jail cell on July 13 ruled her death a suicide. The report, released to the public on Friday, disclosed in detail how she died.

Ms. Bland, 28, tied a white trash bag into a knot before using it as a ligature on her neck, the report showed. The autopsy also showed that Ms. Bland had 25 to 30 horizontal wounds, defined as “scarred regions of healing,” on her left forearm. She also had a “scabbed healing abrasion” on her left wrist and multiple abrasions on the right side of her back.

On Thursday, a county prosecutor in Texas had said that the autopsy of Ms. Bland showed injuries consistent with suicide. Ms. Bland had disclosed a previous suicide attempt to jail officials, and there are growing doubts over whether she was appropriately monitored before her death.

Ms. Bland, an African-American woman from the Chicago area, was found dead three days after she was arrested by a state trooper during a traffic stop in Waller County, Tex. She was initially pulled over for failing to signal a lane change.

Document | Autopsy of Sandra Bland A county prosecutor concluded that Ms. Bland, who died in a jail cell in Waller County, Tex., on July 13, had injuries that were consistent with suicide, not homicide.
Video from the trooper’s dashboard camera was released on Tuesday, revealing that the trooper had threatened Ms. Bland with a Taser as the encounter escalated, partly because of Ms. Bland’s unwillingness to put out a cigarette.

The autopsy was signed by Sara N. Doyle, the assistant medical examiner at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

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