A coalition of civil rights activists on Monday called for an independent investigation into the death of Sandra Bland, an African American woman who was found hanged in her Texas cell and whose death is the latest case to raise questions about race and police.
“This is not a race war. This is a war on black lives,” said the Rev. Hannah Bonner, pastor of justice ministries at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, a white minister who has been holding a vigil outside the sheriff’s office since Bland’s death. The group of about two dozen clergy and other supporters called for the Department of Justice to investigate Bland’s death earlier this month.
A closed-circuit video taken in Texas jail shows that no one entered the cell of Bland, who was found hanged, said Waller County Dist. Atty. Elton Mathis in a televised interview on Monday.
Mathis said there were no cameras in the cell where Bland was found. In an interview with CNN on Monday, he said that cameras monitoring the hall outside her cell show no one entered or left it between the time she last spoke with deputies through an intercom system and when her body was discovered July 13.