Sandra Bland’s death ruled suicide by hanging; family skeptical

DALLAS (TIP): Sandra Bland, like many people her age, regularly voiced opinions about racism and other topics on social media.

The 28-year-old posted about going natural with her hair, the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and even offered a “shout out” to a girl who handed her a bottle of water after a John Legend concert. On Facebook, using the #SandySpeaks hashtag, she would monologue about police brutality and the plight of African Americans.

“Being a black person in America is very, very hard,” she said in a video posted in April. “At the moment black lives matter. They matter.”

Her last tweet, dated June 18, offered prayers for the nine people gunned down by a young white man a day earlier during a Bible study meeting at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

On July 13, Bland was found hanging from a noose made from plastic bag in her cell at the Waller County Jail in Texas, where she was incarcerated after allegedly assaulting an officer during a July 10 traffic stop.

Her death is being investigated as a murder, though authorities have said Bland appeared to have hanged herself. The cause of her death has been determined to be hanging; the manner of death, suicide, according to early autopsy results that do not show obvious signs of a violent struggle.

Her family has said the idea that she committed suicide is unthinkable.