Sandra Annette Bland was born on February 7, 1987. She was an activist and a businesswoman who worked in administration before her unfortunate death. Bland was an African-American woman who faced racism, especially from law enforcement. Unfortunately, her relationship with the police took a turn for the worse when she was found dead while in police custody. Although the events surrounding her death caused an uproar from the public and the media, the case was closed in 2017. Join us as we celebrate her special day!
Sandra Annette Bland was born in Naperville, Illinois on February 7, 1987. Bland came from a middle-class family who lived in the Chicago suburbs. She was an Aquarius and of African descent. Bland had four sisters, and when she was of age, she attended Willowbrook High School in Illinois. She was accepted to Prairie View A&M University in Waller County, Texas, after graduating from high school, where she majored in Agriculture. Bland was a member of a sorority in college, and before graduating in 2009, she was hired as the University’s summer counselor, a position she held for three years.
Bland returned to Illinois after college in 2009, where she worked in the administration department of ‘Cook’s Direct.’ By 2015, she had secured a position as a summer program associate at her former college. Bland was scheduled to return to this position in August 2015. By 2015, civil unrest in the U.S. was at an all-time high, as was police brutality, particularly in the African-American community. At this time, Bland began posting videos, thoughts, and messages about a variety of topics, including police mistreatment of African-Americans. When Bland was stopped by State Trooper Brian Encinia on July 10 for a minor traffic violation that Encinia initiated, the exchange became heated. She was taken into custody and charged with assault on a police officer.
During the trial, this exchange was reviewed, and Encinia was placed on leave because the arrest was unnecessary. Bland was arrested and taken to the Waller County Jail, where she was placed in a cell by herself. However, on July 13 at 9:00 am, a female officer found Bland hanging in her cell. Her death was classified as a suicide following an autopsy report that revealed asphyxiation as the cause of death. She was buried on July 22. Bland suffered from depression and PTSD, although she was not medically diagnosed. Her previous Facebook post revealed this. After multiple investigations by the F.B.I. and D.P.S. Encinia was indicted for perjury with a penalty of one-year imprisonment and a $4,000 fine.
Bland gets her college degree in Agriculture after a great college experience.
Bland works in the administrative department of the food-service equipment supplier, however, she quit later on.
Bland posts content about the mistreatment of African-Americans by the police under the hashtag ‘#SandySpeaks.’
Following the incidents of her death, Bland’s family files a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages from DPS, Waller County Jail, Encinia, and two jailers.
Why We Love Sandra Bland
She was an activist
Bland often posted about police brutality and racial profiling in the African-American community. She has been described as a civil rights activist and part of the B.L.M. movement.
She was upbeat
Bland was excited about the new job she was about to begin. She even spoke to her friend about it while in custody.
She instigated change
Bland’s experience and death created a need to prioritize mental health in prison. It instigated the “Sandra Bland Act” which mandates mental health checks in prisons and holding cells.
5 Surprising Facts
She had gotten charged before
Before her encounter with Encino, Bland had been charged five times for driving without insurance, four times concerning speeding, and once for a D.U.I. and drug possession.
She owed money
At her death, Bland owed $7,579 in unpaid fines.
She had attempted suicide before
Information from her previous arrests shows that Bland had filled out forms indicating her past suicide attempts.
Her family settled
Bland’s family got $1.9 million from the wrongful death lawsuit.
The Sandra Bland Act
The Act which took effect on September 1, 2017, demands county jails divert individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues to treatment.
Sandra Bland FAQs
What happened to Encinia?
The state released Encinia after he posted bond. He agreed he would never seek employment or engagement in law enforcement.
What sorority was Sandra Bland?
Bland was a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.
How old would Sandra Bland be today?
Bland would have celebrated her 35th birthday if she was still alive.
Sandra Bland’s birthday dates