In the ten days since the mysterious death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail cell, speculation around exactly how the 28-year-old Illinois woman died has been rampant.
On Thursday, details of Bland’s autopsy were announced and the prosecutor in the matter said that he did not see any evidence suggesting Bland’s case should be considered a homicide.
As reported by the New York Times and several other outlets, Waller County Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam shared the findings of the autopsy investigation during a press conference. The Waller County Sheriff’s Office previously issued a statement reporting that Bland committed suicide while in the cell, just three days after she was pulled over and arrested following a routine traffic stop.
Diepraam was firm in stating that Bland’s death will not be investigated as a homicide, which clashes with the suspicions of her supporters.
From The New York Times:
“I have not seen any evidence that this is a homicide,” said Warren Diepraam, the county’s first assistant district attorney, after he described the condition of Ms. Bland’s head, neck and hands as lacking any of the telltale signs of a violent struggle. He presented some of the findings of the autopsy, conducted by the coroners for neighboring Harris County, at a news conference Thursday, and said the autopsy report itself might be made public on Friday.
Small scratches on Bland’s wrists were also found, but are suspected to have occurred during the moments when Bland tussled with State Trooper Brian Encinia on July 10 after she was handcuffed.
During the preliminary investigation, several attempts to frame Bland’s character by way of older videos and her political affiliations came to light. On Thursday, it was revealed that Bland had marijuana in her system at the time of death, according to Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis. Mathis reportedly wrote of the revelation in a text message to an attorney representing the Bland family, Think Progress writes.
“[L]ooking at the autopsy results and toxicology, it appears she swallowed a large quantity of marijuana or smoked it in the jail,” Mathis wrote.
Bland’s family and supporters view these presented details as part of a smear campaign to paint her in a negative fashion, although nothing regarding those details confirm why Bland would allegedly take her own life.