Say Her Name: SANDRA BLAND
According to the family’s lawyer, on Thursday, September 15, 2016, Sandra Bland’s family settled their law suit against the police department.
They got 1.9 million dollars for Sandra’s wrongful death. Based on details shared on nytimes.com, the settlement requires Waller County jail to pay $1.8 million and the Texas Department of Public Safety to pay $100,000 (the maximum allowed by law).
Justice continues to not be served. This wrong cannot be made right because nothing will bring Sandra back.
She was just existing. She was just breathing. She was just driving. She stopped existing because she talked. She talked back. She was illegally pulled over and detained. Her rights were denied. She died and now her family only have their memories of her, her legacy and cash that will be taxed by the local, state and federal agencies.
Sandra is not alive and that makes me sad, scared and insecure about my own safety as a woman who is brown, talks a lot and questions what is happening. Is the cost for using my right to talk death or 1.9 million dollars?
Don’t settle. Fight. Question.
Sandra Bland is dead. I see myself in her and I am heart broken. She is me. I am her. We are all connected and missing something because Sandra is dead. Her family settled their law suit. SETTLED. SETTLED. SETTLED. Nothing about this feels settled. This can’t be the end of the narrative.
She was acting like a free woman in America and she died. Her freedom should have been guaranteed but it was just a wrong assumption. The abuse of power is what killed her. It may have had a sprinkle of racism, a dash chauvinism, a hint of arrogance but it had a ton of misuse of power.
Sandra is dead. Her life was cut short. Black and brown women are less safe. We know our sister did not have to die. We know that could have been us.
Larry J. Simmons (lawyer for Waller County, TX) said, “THE WALLER COUNTY DEFENDANTS ALSO EMPHASIZE THEY VIGOROUSLY DENY ANY FAULT OR WRONGDOING, AND THE POTENTIAL SETTLEMENT DOES NOT INVOLVE ANY SUCH ADMISSIONS.”
SANDRA BLAND. SANDRA BLAND. SANDRA BLAND. SANDRA BLAND. SANDRA BLAND.
Em.Em. is a 1st year MFA Theatre student at SLC and alum of the Social Justice Training Institute. You can reach her on Twitter @IamMyraM .