What happened to Sandra Bland ? Women’s History Month


“You just slammed my head to the ground. Do you not even care about that?”

These were some of the last words of 28-year-old Sandra Bland. On Friday, Texas State troopers pulled Sandra over as she was driving to her new job for allegedly not using the turn signals during a lane change.1 What happened next was all too familiar and terrifying.

An eye-witness says police ripped Sandra out of the car, violently slammed her on the ground, and arrested her as she screamed for help. Just 72 two hours later, she was dead.2 Police are claiming Sandra took her own life, but her family and friends don’t believe it. Local District Attorney Elton Mathis has already said he has no reason to expect foul play and handed over the investigation to the same police agency that arrested Sandra.

Police cannot police themselves. Urge Attorney General Lynch to thoroughly investigate Sandra’s death and hold all those responsible fully accountable.

Justice for Sandy

DA Mathis said there was no reason for concern, despite the fact that an allegedly routine traffic stopped turned into a violent arrest is itself a cause for concern.3 Sandra’s family says that Sandra would never kill herself and that police seem to be covering up her death.4 We must demand that local officials release all video, information and photographs relating to Sandra’s unjust arrest, imprisonment and death.

The local police department and prosecutor’s office have a long history of racism and corruption. Last year, DA Mathis threatened a local Reverend who spoke out about racist prosecutions, saying he would release his “hounds” on the Reverend.5 Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith was fired from the police department in Hempstead, Texas for documented cases of racism.5

According to her loved ones, Sandra Bland was a loving, compassionate woman, with a bright future ahead.6 Today would have been the first day at her new job working student outreach at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. Loved ones described her as bright, spirited, and having a thirst for life. She was also a vocal advocate against police brutality and often spoke about ending racism and police violence. Our hearts and minds are with her friends and family as they move through this unimaginably hard time.

But in a world where Black people are stereotyped as “violent” and police exist to enforce the boundaries of a deeply divided and racist society, who Sandy was or the life she was creating, did not matter. What mattered was that she was Black, and therefore, in the eyes of the law, didn’t deserve respect, didn’t deserve her civil rights, her freedom or her life. To be Black in America, is to be safe nowhere. Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to be targeted by police and incarcerated than white women.7

The Department of Justice and Attorney General Lynch have the power and responsibility to address the systemic police violence targeting Black communities. The reality is, racism, corruption and a deep-seated culture of secrecy prevents local and state police from holding themselves accountable. Without independent oversight, police will continue to kill and prosecutors will continue to do nothing. We should not have to demand justice, every time a Black person is murdered, but we will continue to do so until the justice system respects Black lives.

Urge US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to secure justice for Sandy and help end discriminatory police violence targeting Black people in Texas.

Thanks and peace,

— Rashad, Arisha, Shani, Lyla and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
July 16th, 2015

References,https://point4counterpoint.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=91304&action=trash&_wpnonce=5a36e5f072

1. “Sandra Bland Drove to Texas to Start a New Job, so How Did She End Up Dead in Jail?”, 07-16-15
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5001?t=5&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL?

2. “Family says woman found dead in jail cell would not kill herself; Texas Rangers investigating”, 07-16-15
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5002?t=7&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

3. See reference 2.

4. See reference 2.

5. “Pastor says Waller DA threatened him”, 06-03-14
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5003?t=9&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

6. “The Texas Sheriff Where Sandra Bland Died Was Previously Suspended for Racism”, 07-16-15
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5004?t=11&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

7. “Incarcerated Women”, The Sentencing Project 08-2015
http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5005?t=13&akid=4541.1174326.9WpvtL

Vivian Richardson : Fought back – a repost-


Vivian Richardson, committed foreclosure fighter, is taking the fight to DC.

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I wanted to share this letter from Vivian Richardson with you. She is a foreclosure fighter and a member of the Home Defender’s league, the leaders of the upcoming Week of Action. She has a really powerful story and she’s coming to DC to fight to end Too Big to Jail.
                                                              -Brian K.

My name is Vivian Richardson. Aurora Bank stole my home, but I fought back with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Home Defenders League and won it back.

My battle with my lender is familiar to millions of Americans – years of asking for a loan modification after dealing with layoffs and delayed paychecks on top of countless instances of lost paperwork and unresponsive customer service agents. And then a foreclosure notice after missing one payment by two days.

But fighting back with ACCE and HDL, I was able to reverse the foreclosure and win my home back. Millions of Americans are still fighting Wall Street criminals to stop them from stealing their homes or get them back. That’s why I’m joining hundreds of struggling homeowners and foreclosure fighters in the “Bringing Justice to Justice” week of action from May 18-23, to demand an end to “Too Big to Jail” and force the banks to start HELPING those in need instead of PROFITING from them.

To pull this off, we need your help. Can you chip in $25 or whatever you can afford to help us end “Too Big to Jail”?

Home Defenders and foreclosure fighters begin arriving in DC this Saturday and we need to hit our goal of $7500 by Friday May 17th. We’ve been able to secure low-cost places to stay and lots of donations, but we still need to pay for some things like food, water and transportation.

We can’t have two systems of Justice in this country: one for the rich and powerful, where Wall Street criminals are actually rewarded for breaking the law with huge bonuses and luxurious salaries, and another for the rest of us.

We’ve almost met our fundraising goal. Can you help put us over the top? Chip in $25 or whatever you can today and help make the Week of Action a success!

Wall Street bankers have spent (and are still spending) millions convincing Washington that they are worth protecting. We’re going to counteract that with the power of hundreds of real people affected by the foreclosure crisis standing on the doorsteps of the Justice Department demanding accountability and an end to Too Big to Jail.

The fate of many of those joining me rests on convincing President Obama and his administration to end Too Big to Jail and offer more support to struggling homeowners. The stakes are even higher when you consider the millions of Americans facing foreclosure who can’t join us in Washington.

These Wall Street banksters stole many homes, and are still committing crimes. It is time for them to be held accountable.

Please contribute now!

In solidarity,

Vivian Richardson

ACCE and Home Defenders League member

http://www.campaignforfairsettlement.org/