Sandra Bland was a 28-year-old Chicago native and activist who was found dead in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015, after being pulled over three days earlier for a traffic violation. Bland, who was driving to Texas to begin a new job, was violently ordered to get out of her vehicle by an officer who threatened to “light” her up with his stun gun if she did not oblige. The actual cause of her death is unclear, but police concluded that Bland hanged herself in the cell. After the announcement of her death and the release of video footage displaying the arrest, the officer was placed on administrative duties for failing to follow proper traffic stop protocol. Texas authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on July 16, 2015, that they had begun a joint investigation into Bland’s death. Following her death, protests have erupted across the country calling for justice.

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