The story of Sandra Bland affected me in a way that the stories of Eric Garner and Mike Brown did not. I was outraged by the deaths of those men, but the death of Sandra Bland scares me. That is because Sandra Bland is me. In case you don’t know, Sandra Bland was a young woman who was driving to her dream job at her alma mater. She was pulled over for failing to signal before she changed lanes. She was pulled over for failing to signal before she changed lanes. The officer’s dash cam has recorded him ordering Bland out of her vehicle for this minor traffic violation and violently assaulting her and arresting her. Three days later, Bland was found dead in her jail cell. The FBI have taken over this case.
The story of Sandra Bland has scared me. It has scared me to the bone. I am Sandra Bland. I have been pulled over by the police for minor traffic violations. I have been pulled over for having an expired inspection sticker more times than I can count. I have been pulled over for making an illegal left turn. I have been pulled over for going the wrong way down a one way street. These are all minor traffic violations. In some cases I have been given a ticket for my infraction. In other cases I have been let go with a warning. I have never, ever, dealt with the kind of brutality that Sandra Bland faced over the same kind of minor traffic violation. The officers that I have dealt with have never threatened me with physical violence or threatened to arrest me. This situation is scary. It’s so scary. We cannot let this young woman’s death go unpunished. I have chosen to write about Sandy in this post because I don’t want her name or her story to be forgotten.
Thank you for reading,