Criminal Justice

Grand jurors decline to indict in jailhouse death of Sandra Bland; prosecutor says case isn't over

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Grand jurors on Monday failed to indict jailers in the jailhouse death of Sandra Bland, a Chicago-area woman found hanged in her Texas cell after she was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change.

Special prosecutor Darrell Jordan says “the case is still open” and the Waller County, Texas, grand jury will meet again next month to discuss other aspects of the case, the New York Times reports. The failure to indict on Monday concerns charges related to Bland’s death and the conduct of jail staffers, he said.

“The case is not over,” Jordan told the New York Times. “That’s what I’m stressing right now. The case is not over.”

Bland’s mother has filed a wrongful death suit claiming the Texas state trooper who pulled Bland over used inappropriate force, and jailers didn’t react to her “bouts of uncontrollable crying.”

The trooper had ordered Bland out of her car after she refused his request to put out her cigarette. The trooper told Bland he would “light you up” with a Taser if she didn’t get out of the car.

Bland’s family said at a news conference on Monday that they don’t believe the case is being handled properly by investigating police or special prosecutors, the Chicago Tribune reports. Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said the family has not been informed about physical evidence being presented in court or about developments in grand jury proceedings.

“Right now the biggest problem I have is the entire process,” Reed-Veal said. “We’re supposed to have an investigation to show us what’s happening. We know what we’ve been listening to in the media … but we don’t have any real evidence.”

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