Funeral for woman found dead in Texas jail set for Saturday

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2015 7:02 AM

(Reuters) - A black woman found dead in a Texas jail days after she was arrested following a traffic stop will be buried on Saturday in a Chicago suburb as investigators gather more details about the circumstances of her incarceration and death.

The funeral for Sandra Bland, 28, will be held at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, followed by burial in a nearby cemetery.

Bland was preparing to start a job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, when she was stopped by a Texas state trooper for failing to signal a lane change near Prairie View, northwest of Houston, on July 10.

After the incident escalated into an altercation between her and the white trooper, Bland was charged with assaulting an officer and taken to Waller County Jail. Three days later she was found hanging in a cell with a plastic trash bag around her neck.

Bland's traffic stop and subsequent death have been taken up by activists who say the case is the latest example of racial bias and excessive force by U.S. law enforcement.

A medical examiner has ruled Bland's death a suicide, but Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis has said more evidence needs to be gathered and analyzed and the details ultimately examined by a grand jury.

Bland's family previously acknowledged a Facebook post in which she discussed struggling with depression, but has disputed the suicide ruling.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)