Sandra Bland, other African American women, and Texas police

This 25 July 2015 video from the USA is called Sandra Bland March & Vigil in Houston, Texas.

From the Voice of America:

Anger About Black Texas Woman’s Death in Jail Still Strong

Greg Flakus

August 07, 2015 8:20 PM

PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS— A makeshift memorial marks the spot where Sandra Bland was arrested after a traffic stop on July 10.

On July 13, she was found dead in her jail cell. Officials say it was suicide.

Bland’s college classmate Alex McGrew doubts that story.

“She was fun to be around,” he said. “She was a cool person and definitely not a sad, suicidal person at all.”

In video recordings she posted on Facebook, her lively, warm personality is evident. But she also spoke about struggling with depression.

“Do not let the depression hold you down; do not let it keep you in the spot where you are, because depression is nothing but the devil,” Bland says in one of the videos.

Those who believe she did take her life blame the Waller County Jail for being negligent and the state trooper who arrested her for being far too aggressive.

“She should not have died in that jail because, if at all, she should have been given a ticket and she should have been on her way,” U.S. Representative Al Green said at one community gathering.

The charge against Bland, 28, was assault on a police officer, which former Waller County Justice of the Peace Dewayne Charleston says set her up for poor treatment in jail.

“They would have denied her phone privileges; they would have delivered her meals late; they would have made her life miserable,” he said.

Waller County officials have denied any improper treatment of Bland in jail.

Some black people in Texas are willing to give officials the benefit of the doubt and await the result of investigations. But many others see the Bland case in the light of past discrimination.

The student population at nearby Prairie View A&M University, where Bland had gone to school, will swell to 9,000 by the end of the month, and Charleston plans to seek their support.

“When the 9,000 students come back, and all the faculty members come back from vacation, it is going to be a whole different ball game,” he said.

If there has not been a satisfactory resolution of the Bland case in the next few weeks, when students start arriving for the fall semester, activists say there will be many more, and much larger, protests.

Charnesia Corley (photo: Screenshot/ABC13)

From Raw Story in the USA:

Texas cops accused of threatening to break woman’s legs during public strip search

Bethania Palma Markus

07 Aug 2015 at 16:36 ET

A Texas woman says she suffered a nightmare scenario in which Harris County sheriff’s deputies sexually assaulted her in public during a traffic stop last month.

Charnesia Corley, 21, said officers with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department made her pull her pants down and did a body cavity search without her consent while she was lying in a gas station parking lot, according to ABC13.

Corley was driving to a nearby market when she was stopped by deputies. The department told the station she was pulled over for running a stop sign. After stopping her, the deputy ordered Corley out of her car because he said he smelled weed. He cuffed her and placed her in his patrol vehicle parked at a gas station.

After searching Corley’s car and finding nothing, the deputy returned to his car and said he smelled pot there. He called for a female deputy to search Corley, who ordered Corley out of the car and onto the ground.

“Then she tells me to pull my pants down,” Corley told ABC13. “I told her, I said, ‘well ma’am, I don’t have any underwear on.’ She says, ‘well that doesn’t matter. Pull your pants down.’”

While Corley was lying on the ground by her car in the parking lot, the deputy told her, “open your legs.” Corley said she responded that she didn’t want to.

“So she says, ‘well if you don’t open them, I’m going to break them,’” Corley said. “All I could do was just lay there. I felt helpless.”

Corley was charged with resisting arrest and possession of marijuana after deputies allegedly found .02 ounces of marijuana.

However, the department also argued that Corley consented to the search, which seemingly contradicts the allegation that she resisted.

Corley’s attorney, Sam Cammack, said a search in a public place like that is a violation of her civil rights.

“It’s undeniable that the search is unconstitutional,” he told ABC13.

As of now, Corley plans to file an internal affairs complaint.

Corley isn’t the only African-American Texas woman whose treatment by law enforcement has raised concern. Last month, Sandra Bland, 28, was arrested and and found dead in her Waller County jail cell, all because a Texas trooper pulled her over for failing to use her turn signal.

19-Year-Old Unarmed College Student Fatally Shot by Texas Police. Christian Taylor was all set to start his sophomore year at Angelo State University when he was shot dead by police, who claim that he was attempting to rob a car dealership, a claim his family finds hard to believe: here. And here.

10 thoughts on “Sandra Bland, other African American women, and Texas police

  1. On Wednesday, the Houston City Council voted to send the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a law that protects citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, and eleven other categories, to a referendum on the November 3rd ballot.

    This follows a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court that required the Council to either overturn the ordinance or send it to the ballot. Despite the fact that the anti-LGBT activists who gathered signatures to put HERO on the ballot apparently failed to gain enough valid signatures, the Court ruled that HERO would either have to be scrapped entirely or put before the voters.

    This is a tough blow – tough because HERO, and non-discrimination measures overall, are so important: because they offer concrete protections for individuals facing discrimination because of who they are or whom they love. That’s why we’re fighting for the Equality Act, a federal, fully inclusive bill that would establish explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. While we work hard for passage of the Equality Act, the protections offered by local anti-discrimination measures are critical. We are determined to stand by Mayor Annise Parker, the Houston City Council, and our allies – including Equality Texas, Texas Freedom Network, and the ACLU of Texas – and fight for HERO.

    HERO’s protections are needed and necessary – and now that they are on the ballot, they are at risk. It’s essential that voters turn out this November to fight back against those who would put LGBT Houstonians and others at real risk. Over the next weeks and months, we’ll be sharing with you how HRC will be fighting for HERO with our allies and friends in Houston and across Texas, and what you can do to help.

    November 3 is just 11 short weeks away. With your help, we’ll be ready to defend equality on the ballot in Houston.

    Take a look at this publication and this video for details on HRC’s efforts in Texas.

    Thank you,

    Chad Griffin
    Human Rights Campaign

    Follow me on Twitter @ChadHGriffin

    P.S. On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that Texas must recognize the same-sex marriage of a Texas resident and name him as the surviving spouse on his late husband’s death certificate. In addition, Judge Orlando Garcia ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to appear in court to determine if he should be held in contempt for his refusal to change the death certificate. This is a big win for same-sex couples in the state of Texas, and we’ll keep you posted on what happens next.


  2. Monday 10th August 2015

    posted by Morning Star in World

    THE US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is to assist the examination of the police shooting of an unarmed black university student Texas.

    Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said on Saturday night that an FBI special agent would take part in the probe, but claimed that it “in no way diminishes my confidence” in local officers to conduct the investigation.

    Officer Brad Miller was placed on administrative leave after shooting 19-year-old Christian Taylor in the small hours of Friday.

    Police said that the trainee officer had never before fired his weapon in the line of duty.

    Mr Miller shot Mr Taylor four times after his more experienced partner had Tasered him when they were called to a reported break-in at a car dealership.

    Mr Taylor’s death came two days before the first anniversary of the shooting of teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in ­Ferguson, Missouri, which led to widespread protests and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

    The family of Zachary Hammond, an unarmed white teenager shot by undercover police on July 26, called on Saturday for the officer responsible to be charged.


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