Why Was Sandra Bland Arrested?

On July 10, 28-year-old Sandra Bland was pulled over for a traffic stop in Prairie View, Texas. The African-American woman was ordered out of the car after she refused to put out her cigarette. She ended up face down on the ground in handcuffs. Three days later, Bland was found dead hanging in her Walter County Jail cell. Texas Rangers and the FBI have opened a murder investigation, and on Tuesday dashboard camera video of the confrontation between she and the arresting officer was released.

How did something so minor turn into something so fraught, so quickly?


Gloria J. Browne-Marshallassociate professor of Constitutional Law at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She teaches Constitutional Law, Race and the Law, and Evidence (@gbrownemarshall)


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