Texas county says woman killed herself when no one bailed her out

Sandra Bland's Family Filing Federal Lawsuit



Lawyers for a Texas county sued by the family of black woman found hanged in a jail cell said she committed suicide because she was despondent over her relatives refusing to bail her out.

The family of Sandra Bland filed a wrongful death lawsuit in August against a Texas trooper, a sheriff's office and Bland's jailers, accusing them of being responsible for her apparent suicide in a county jail.

In a motion filed for summary judgment this week, lawyers representing Waller County and two jail guards said Bland was allowed to make several phone calls to relatives and she could have been released from jail on a bond of $515.

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Texas county says woman killed herself when no one bailed her out
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Lambert tells @TJMShow the dash cam video shows the trooper pulling his taser out at #SandraBland & she then complies to get out of the car
Failure to signal should never lead to a violent arrest & death in a jail cell. "We can change this." #SandraBland https://t.co/JCaWjIiixa
#SandraBland UPDATE: Civil rights leaders in Texas are discussing working with the family to have an independent autopsy done on Bland.
I HEREBY ATTEST AND AFFIRM That if I die in police custody, I did NOT kill myself. Please get the appropriate revenge. #SandraBland
Beautiful sister, rest well. It's still on. #SandraBland http://t.co/kFts5ZANMR
It appears the FBI has officially been asked by Texas to help with investigation into the death of #SandraBland http://t.co/KnFx5Hu5YK
A major meeting is scheduled Tuesday on the campus of Prairie View A&M Univ. for top state officials to discuss the #SandraBland death
Wow. Just learned that the last man to "hang himself" in the Waller County jail was also arrested for "assaulting an officer" #SandraBland
Witness said #SandraBland was pulled THROUGH HER WINDOW and slammed by police after being pulled over for not using a turn signal.
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"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," lawyers for the county said in court documents.

An attorney for Bland's family was not available for comment.

Her death fueled criticism over the treatment of black men and women by police in the United States.

Bland, 28, was pulled over in her car on July 10 by a white state trooper, Brian Encinia, for failing to signal a lane change in Prairie View, about 50 miles northwest of Houston.

The stop escalated into a verbal altercation after Encinia asked Bland to put out a cigarette and she refused. Bland was charged with assaulting an officer, a felony. The Texas Department of Public Safety has said the trooper acted improperly.

Bland was found hanged in her jail cell three days after her arrest. Local officials have said she was not mistreated.The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in federal court in Texas, said officials violated Bland's constitutional rights. The family said it was seeking financial damages, but court papers did not specify an amount.

To see more on Sandra Bland's funeral, scroll through the gallery below:

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Texas county says woman killed herself when no one bailed her out
LISLE, IL - JULY 25: Associate Pastor, Reverend Theresa Dear, arrives for the funeral service of Sandra Bland at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church, on July 25, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois. Bland's death roused suspicion nationwide after the 28-year-old was found hanging from a plastic bag three days after she was pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for a traffic violation. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)
LISLE, IL - JULY 25: The hearse containing the remains of Sandra Bland arrives before her funeral service at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church, on July 25, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois. Bland's death roused suspicion nationwide after the 28-year-old was found hanging from a plastic bag three days after she was pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for a traffic violation. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)
LISLE, IL - JULY 25: Associate Pastor, Reverend Theresa Dear, arrives for the funeral service of Sandra Bland at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church, on July 25, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois. Bland's death roused suspicion nationwide after the 28-year-old was found hanging from a plastic bag three days after she was pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for a traffic violation. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)
LISLE, IL - JULY 25: Jasmine Johnson, childhood friend of Sandra Bland, reacts to the site of her casket before the start of her funeral service at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church, on July 25, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois. Bland's death roused suspicion nationwide after the 28-year-old was found hanging from a plastic bag three days after she was pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for a traffic violation. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)
LISLE, IL - JULY 25: Pallbearers remove the casket of Sandra Bland before the start of her funeral service at DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church, on July 25, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois. Bland's death roused suspicion nationwide after the 28-year-old was found hanging from a plastic bag three days after she was pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for a traffic violation. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)
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