What Sandra Bland's Voicemail From Jail Tells Us About The Days Before She Passed Away
The mysterious death of Sandra Bland hasn't become any less suspicious since her arrest two weeks ago. Bland, a 28-year-old black woman, was arrested in Waller County, Texas, after a routine traffic stop led to what police called Bland assaulting an officer. Three days later, Bland died in a Waller County jail, and police claim she hanged herself. Her family has been in total disbelief; Bland had just moved back to Texas from Chicago to start a new job. Little is known about what her mental state was in jail, but Bland left a voicemail for a friend the day after her arrest, according to BBC News. What can the voicemail tell us about what she was doing in jail before her death? It doesn't reveal much, but at least it's something.
Bland had just made her first court appearance hours before the calling the friend, according to ABC News reported, who obtained the voicemail. In the 22-second message, Bland said she's "still just at a loss for words honestly at this whole process." Then, she asked the question now on everyone's mind: "How did switching lanes with no signal turn into all of this, I don’t even know,” Bland said.
She said she was "able to see the judge," and that her bail had been set at $5,000, ABC News reported.
Bland doesn't sound particularly dejected or depressed in the voicemail. She sounds level headed and mostly stunned by the entire series of events. In the snippets of the available voicemail, Bland doesn't appear to cry to be distraught. Bland apparently placed two other calls — one to her sister and another to a bail bondsman, according to ABC News. Neither of those transcripts has been released.
ABC News also showed pictures of an intake form Bland filled out when she was processed by the jail. She answered the question "Have you ever attempted suicide?" with "Yes." Then, her answer to "If yes... When? Why? How?," is partially blurred out. But the "When?" answer says "In 2015," and the "How?" answer appears to say "By taking pills," according to ABC's news segment.
But then she answered both "Have you had thoughts of killing yourself in the last year?" and "Are you thinking about killing yourself today?" with "No."
The voicemail and other phone calls seem to show that Bland may have been planning her release during her first two days in jail. It's what happened on July 12 and then the morning of July 13 that still remains a mystery. Investigators are treating Bland's death like a murder investigation, according to CNN, but cameras in the hallway outside of the jail cell don't show anyone entering or leaving the cell before Bland's body was found. Her family does not believe the police department's account of events.
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