Whitewashing Sandra Bland's Murder
by Stephen Lendman
Every 28 hours on average, a Black man, woman or child is murdered by killer cops in America. Sandra Black is one of their victims - a high-profile one, unlike countless nameless, faceless, unreported victims of US police brutality, at times resulting in unaccountable murders routinely whitewashed when investigations are conducted.
Police traffic stops, even violent ones, followed by wrongful short-term detentions, aren't reasons for suicides - unless perhaps victims are so mentally ill and unstable their behavior is unpredictable.
Bland was a young Black civil rights activist - a vocal Black Lives Matter movement exponent, outspoken against police brutality in America.
Was she targeted for this reason? Was she violently assaulted by a cop on assignment to get her arrested on false charges - then murdered in custody to silence her?
She was eagerly looking forward to her new job at Prairie View A&M, her alma mater. She had every reason to live, not die. Media reports on her case are scandalous - ignoring the most important issues needing exploring and explaining.
Instead, largely regurgitating official accounts about her death. The New York Times, America's leading broadsheet, is typical - On July 23 headlining
"Autopsy of Sandra Bland Finds Injuries Consistent With Suicide, Prosecutor Says."
A proper headline should read: Coverup in Texas: County Autopsy Findings Whitewash Sandra Bland's Likely Murder.
Instead of questioning dubious autopsy findings (conducted by local authorities, not an independent forensic pathologist), The Times regurgitated the official conclusion saying "her injuries were consistent with suicide, not homicide, a finding that underscored growing doubts that the jail did enough to monitor her."
No independently verifiable evidence suggests Bland was unstable or suicidal. Saying she was depressed over losing her baby is how virtually every woman would feel.
The Times repeated the official lie suggesting she should have been placed on suicide watch. It quoted Texas Waller County first assistant district attorney Warren Diepraam reciting pre-scripted (unchallenged) claims about no signs of violent struggle and neck markings consistent with suicide.
"I have not seen any evidence that this is a homicide," he said. Did he look for any, the Times should have asked - as well as explaining an activist woman against police brutality with every reason to live, not die.
On July 9, Bland drove from Chicago to Texas, was interviewed for a job at her alma mater Prairie View A&M, was ecstatic on learning she got it - then "committed suicide," according to official reports.
No legitimate Hollywood producer would accept a script with this storyline. Who would believe something this implausible?
Bland's friends suspect foul play. Some angrily reject official suicide claims for good reason. Bland's mother quoted her daughter's recent comments saying:
"Mom, now I know what my purpose is. My purpose is to go back to Texas. My purpose is to stop all social injustice." It's to live, not die.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.