We Know Why Sandra Bland Is Dead

Sandra BlandSandra Bland, a young African American woman, was pulled over for “improperly signaling a lane change.” The officer then arrested her for assaulting a police officer. She was in jail for three days, and then right before getting out, she apparently hanged herself. I love the “assaulting a police officer” charge. The police commonly brutalize people during arrests, but if they get accidentally slapped in the process: “Police brutality!” But we know it is all nonsense, because the police department put the arresting officer on “administrative duty” because they claim that the arrest was improper.

The question is why did a simple traffic stop turn into an arrest. Bland was not some street kid. She was a college graduate who had recently moved to Texas for a job working at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. But she was from Chicago, so maybe she was just too sassy with the officer. In fact, I’m 99% certain that is what happened. The greatest crime in the United State is to not show the police enough respect. And as the police get less and less respectable, they demand this respect more and more. They think they deserve it. I think they deserve unemployment.

Many people don’t accept that Bland killed herself. I don’t have as hard a time accepting this. People who are not used to being in jail have a tendency to freak out about it. And even after three days in jail, it may have simply occurred to the 28 year old Bland that her live was over. Now she would have an arrest and almost certainly a felony on her record. It is quite understandable that she would not see the situation in perceptive. She was, after all, someone who had done everything right: went to college, got a good job. And now this.

What I fear will happen in this case is that the jail video will show that she did in fact kill herself. And that will be the end of it. But that isn’t the end of it. People don’t just end up dead in jail cells. She was there because a wimpy police officer got his fee-fees hurt because the woman from the big city didn’t treat him right. And then, they put her in a badly maintained, under staffed jail where a number of other people have managed to kill themselves without being noticed.

The original sin was with the arresting officer. And he brutalized her. As is seen in a video of the incident, Sandra Bland says, “You just slammed my head into the ground, do you not even care about that?” But of course they don’t care about that. They have bigger issues on their minds. They have egos the size of Manhattan that are fragile as a sickly egg. And if it takes beating up young women and oppressing them into suicide, that’s okay. Because the police must be respected. And young Africans Americans like Sandra Bland don’t matter.


I am not a violent man. And this feeling won’t last. What’s more, I know this is a systemic problem. But right now, I so want to see that police officer publicly whipped. If that happened, it would perhaps have an effect on the systemic problem that is our racist and fear-based policing.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

4 thoughts on “We Know Why Sandra Bland Is Dead

  1. Disgusting. I’m so sick of this happening every day. Of course, noting that it happened to an African-American makes those of us appalled by it the real racists.

    Disgusting; I have no other word.

    • It is totally amazing. But there is a certain level of numbness. This again? I believe that there are two fundamental issues that cause no change in police behavior even with very publicized cases like this one. First, is the idea now taught to all police officers that they have such a dangerous job that they are better to kill a thousand than to risk a paper cut. The second is, as I think I wrote in this article, this idea that the greatest crime from an officer’s perspective is to not be given enough respect. Both of these are the basis of my claim that officers are pussies. And I really do think that the society as a whole needs to make this very clear every time an officer’s pathetic behavior leads to any unnecessary confrontation. They cannot be led to believe that arresting someone because they felt disrespected is a sign of power. It is a sign of their misuse of institutional power and a clear indication that they are the most pathetic impotent humans on the planet. I think the officer in this case should have to spend the next year walking around Texas with a sign that reads, “I get young women killed because I’m too much of a wimp to do my job properly.” Or maybe: “I live in constant fear that someone will think my penis is small.”

      • Maybe — and it’s not like this could happen — we could automatically make any cop who uses force serve 30 days in jail. They wouldn’t have a crime on their record, their bank account would still get paychecks. But they’d have a mandatory cooling-off period in the place they send people.

        Granted, a lot of macho a-holes and right wingers simply don’t care what happens to the powerless. But a ton of them are oblivious to what powerlessness means. There was a local story, not long ago, where a Republican congressman visited a Native reservation school in the far north hinterlands. He was appalled at the building’s disrepair, and vowed to improve it (whether or not he did, I don’t know.) You or I would say, “of course, that’s the awful normal of reservation life.” This suburban Republican was clueless., more from ignorance than malice.

        I suspect ignorance and groupthink are more responsible for cruddy cop behavior than malice. But no doubt there’s something like a 5% lunatic segment, which poisons the other 95% who don’t stop it.

        • But I’ve noticed a certain evolution of thinking. Take your Congressman. What I suspect is that he genuinely felt bad, as you say. He went to do something and he had it explained: that would cost money. And that money would have to be taken away from the deserving rich. This is the fundamental difference between a conservative and a liberal mind. More knowledge makes a liberal mind more empathic. More knowledge makes a conservative mind more callous.

          I know that many people start off as police officers as very idealistic. But it’s not most. Police officer is one of the few jobs left in America where you can have no education and make a good deal of money. But beyond the social aspects of it, the idea of being a police officer is repugnant to the kind of people we would actually want doing the job. It appeals to the absolute worst aspects of people. But they are even worse now because the system itself has bought the nonsense about officers being in so much danger. If we were serious about police reform, they would get constant training explaining that the people of the US owe the police nothing other than a reasonable effort to follow the law. And any officer who seems to have an ego problem would be thrown out. I figure that would get rid of two-thirds of them right away.

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