Rest in power, Sandra Bland.
“CHICAGO (WLS) –Friends and relatives of a 28-year-old Naperville businesswoman are angrily questioning her death in a Texas jail.
Sandra Bland was found dead in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell on Monday at 9 a.m. after being arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a routine traffic stop, the I-Team has learned. Authorities say her death appears to be suicide.
In numerous emails and phone calls to the ABC7 I-Team, her friends and relatives say they do not believe the official version of what happened and say this is a case of foul play in a county with a history racial intolerance.
Bland was pulled over Friday for improper signaling a lane change, according to Waller County Sheriff’s Department officials. They say she was charged with “Assault on a Public Servant” and taken into custody by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.
Bland’s friends say she had been with her family in suburban Chicago over the July 4th holiday, and drove to Texas for a job interview at her alma mater, Texas Prairie View A & M. Family members say she got the position and was to begin working in student outreach today.
Sheriff R. Glenn Smith says that jailers saw Bland at 7 a.m. Monday when they gave her breakfast and again at 8 a.m. when they spoke with her over the jail intercom. Smith says she was found dead an hour later. In a press release from the sheriff’s department, authorities say they applied CPR, but that Bland was pronounced dead shortly after she was found.
The Willowbrook High School graduate died by “self-inflicted asphyxiation,” according to sheriff’s deputies, who have turned the investigation over to Texas Rangers. Some family members and friends say Bland was found hanging in the jail cell, but authorities have not confirmed the exact circumstances around her death.
In a press release from the sheriff’s department, authorities say they applied CPR, but Bland was pronounced dead shortly after she was found.
Longtime friend LaNitra Dean tells the I-Team that Bland “was a warm, affectionate, outspoken woman” who spoke out about police brutality often on her Facebook page.
“The Waller County Jail is trying to rule her death a suicide and Sandy would not have taken her own life,” Dean said. “Sandy was strong. Strong mentally and spiritually.”
Waller County Sheriff R Glenn Smith said, through a statement, “any loss of life is a tragic incident.”
The statement continued, “While the investigation is being conducted by outside agencies, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office will continue to observe the daily operations of the jail to always look for improvements and/or preventions of these incidents.”
Wednesday afternoon a small group of Bland’s friends converged on the Waller County jail to protest her death. The facility is 50 miles north of Houston. Family members say they intend to bring her body back to Illinois for burial when authorities release it.“
Sending Letters of Beauty with #envelope_series
Not long after Kiev-based photographer Anna Remarchuk (@annaremarchuk) found a bunch of old envelopes that belonged to her great-grandfather, she received a gift of snowdrops in the post. “At the table there were those envelopes. I saw them together and decided to make a photo,” she says. The simple combination gave birth to a new creative project — the #envelope_series.
Anna buys the flowers or receives them as gifts, then looks at the colors and tones of the envelope paper and the natural beauty of the flowers before shooting her pairings on her phone. “During the process I forget about all, because I am in love with what I do,” she says. “I want my followers to be able to understand my flowers’ message without any words.”
This is an epic quote: when something goes wrong in your life yell out PLOT TWIST and move on! #amwriting
Daily Inspiration: Chuck Wendig on Branding: blog.redbubble.com/2014/04/daily-… via @redbubble
From the Midwest to the Middle East with Photojournalist @alexkpotter
To see more photographs by Alex, follow @alexkpotter on Instagram.
As a nursing student from a small town in the American Midwest, Alex Potter (@alexkpotter) might not have imagined living through airstrikes and civil war in the Middle East. But a university trip to Jordan sparked an interest in learning Arabic and led her to Yemen, where she now, at the age of 25, works as a freelance photographer and writer. In Alex’s alternate life during her occasional visits to the United States, she still works stints as a registered nurse.
Alex describes her path and her professions:
“There is an expression here that says, ‘If time doesn’t teach you, Yemen will.’ And taught me it has. Everyone who comes here learns so much about themselves, the power of faith, family, community and politics — and the good and bad that goes along with all of those. Yemen mostly has two kinds of journalists that inhabit it — those who come for a week, and those who come for life.
Life isn’t always enjoyable. Prices have doubled, there is no petrol (lines are days long). Many families are in the line of fire and can’t even afford or access their next meal. Most places in the country have no electricity, so people must rely on generators (for which there is no petrol) and solar panels (which are thousands of dollars). My neighbors burn wood for cooking, and everyone (myself included) has to carry buckets of water from public tanks donated by philanthropic Yemenis. Ramadan just finished, and many people can’t afford gifts for their children for Eid, much less the elaborate celebrations usually put on. Yet amid the sounds of airstrikes and long lines for waiting for petrol, people do their best to make the situation as normal as possible: sharing food, recycling gifts and spending time together.
As far as working here, I have found it the easiest place I have ever worked, especially as a woman. I dress like a local to respect the culture and speak the local dialect, so that helps, but everyone wants their photo taken all the time. Usually, my biggest problem is not enough memory in my camera! Yemenis are so welcoming and loving, and really do care about foreigners living in their midst — as long as you respect them first. As a foreign woman, as in much of the Muslim world, I have access to all parts of society. This has changed a bit with the war — people are more wary about photography, so I just have to do a bit more explaining. Logistically, I now have many more safety concerns to take in hand — planning, security, accountability, et cetera, but no more than in any other conflict zone or unstable region.
I go back to Minnesota to do some nursing work, center myself and see family and friends. Personal relationships are important to me, and it’s difficult but essential to stay connected to those who know me the best, especially in this line of work.”
Love his photography; this one above all.#photography #travels
Gelukkige VerjaardagRembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn! (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669)
From our stacks: Catalogue raisonné de toutes les pieces qui forment l'œuvre de Rembrandt / composé par feu M. Gersaint, & mis au jour, avec augmentations nécessaires, par les sieurs Helle & Glomy. A Paris : Chez Hochereau …, 1751.