A grand jury decided Monday night not to issue indictments in the death of Sandra Bland, a Black woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell earlier this year and whose handling by police sparked nationwide criticism of excessive force.
The grand jury met for more than eight hours Monday. After reviewing evidence, it decided not to indict anyone, including staff at the Waller County Jail, where Bland was held.
On July 13, Bland was found dead in a Waller County jail cell. The Waller County Sheriff’s Office said the 28-year-old woman died “from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” as NBC News originally reported. While authorities in Texas described death as suicide, her family has disputed official accounts and criticized the secrecy of the grand jury.
“I simply can’t have faith in a system that’s not inclusive of my family,” said Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal.
The grand jury will reconvene in January to “take up remaining issues,” Darrell Jordan, one of the special prosecutors for the case, told The Washington Post.
Many on social media responded with frustration and disbelief after the announcement.
With each one of these non-indictments, the little trust we had in the judicial process erodes. #SandraBland
— Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (@esglaude) December 22, 2015
Someone tell us where Black people can find justice in this country. Where is racism not systematic, ubiquitous and constant? #SandraBland
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) December 22, 2015
Name someone else who’s been arrested for failing to put on their turn signal. Seriously. Name one. #SandraBland
— Jawn Solo (@RandiGloss) December 22, 2015
— Ida B. Swell (@progressagent) December 22, 2015