The death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland, who was found dead in her jail cell three days after being pulled over for failing to signal a lane change, has been pronounced a suicide by hanging according to the autopsy.

Bland was pulled over on July 10th by a State Trooper, an encounter that escalated quickly.  Dashcam footage shows the State Trooper, identified as Brian Encinia, threatening Bland with a taser as Bland questioned why she was being told to exit her vehicle.  After a physical struggle, Encinia put Bland on the ground and handcuffed her as onlookers videotaped the encounter with their phones.  Bland was taken to jail and charged with assaulting an officer due to the struggle.  She was found dead in her cell on July 13th, apparently having hung herself with a plastic trashcan liner.


Warren Diepraam, first assistant district attorney of Waller County, announced the coroner's findings during a press conference, nothing that there were no physical signs of a violent struggle.  Bland had several cuts on her wrists that the coroner determined to have occurred two to four weeks prior to Bland's encounter, and the bruising on her neck was consistent with suicide by hanging.  Diepraam also noted that large amounts of marijuana was discovered in Bland's system, and though the actual time of consumption could not be immediately determined, the amount suggests she either smoked or consumed the marijuana recently.

District Attorney Elton Mathis said that the officer did violate courtesy policies, but currently no criminal behavior has been uncovered,

This is of course an ongoing investigation, as far as any criminal culpability on the behalf of the trooper we are treating that the same way we are with the jail death.

Jail intake forms state that Bland told officers that she was depressed and had tried to commit suicide in the past, though inconsistencies in the reports have been found.

More From Newstalk 1290