County Makes 'Insulting' Claim About Sandra Bland's Death

'Pouring salt into the wound'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2015 5:44 PM CST
County Makes 'Insulting' Claim About Sandra Bland's Death
Authorities say Sandra Bland committed suicide in jail because she was despondent over her relatives' refusal to quickly bail her out.    (Courtesy of the Bland family via AP, File)

Sandra Bland killed herself while in jail because her relatives refused to bail her out. At least that's what Texas' Waller County is claiming in an effort to have her family's wrongful death lawsuit dismissed, the AP reports. "It is apparent now that Bland's inability to secure her release from jail—and her family and friends' refusal to bail her out of jail—led her to commit suicide," the county attorney says. The 28-year-old Bland was arrested over the summer after being pulled over for making an improper lane change. Three days later she was found dead in her jail cell. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, an autopsy report found she used a plastic garbage bag to hang herself.

An attorney for Bland's family tells the AP that blaming her relatives for her death is "completely unnecessary and inaccurate." "That's a gratuitous insult, pouring salt into the wound of an already devastated family," the attorney says. He says Bland's family wasn't ignoring her, they were thousands of miles away trying to figure out how to get her out of jail over a weekend. According to the Sun-Times, county officials say a male friend ignored Bland's phone calls and her sister refused to bail her out. Regardless, her family isn't convinced she would have killed herself and says the jail failed to keep her safe, the AP reports. It would have cost $515 to get Bland out of jail. (More Sandra Bland stories.)

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