Twenty-eight-year old Sandra Bland was found dead Monday in a Waller County, Texas jail cell.
Officials have said that the cause of death was suicide by “self-inflicted asphyxiation.”
Bland’s family and friends aren’t buying it – several who spoke with WLS-TV in Chicago said they suspect foul play or a cover-up.
Bland was set to start her “dream job” at her college alma mater Prairie View A&M University and was headed there by car from her hometown of Naperville, Illinois. A state trooper pulled her over last Friday for “not signaling a lane change.”
The Waller County sheriff said Bland was later arrested and charged for assaulting an officer. The county sheriff said Bland was “combative on the side of the road.”
Watch video of Sandra Bland’s arrest for ‘failure to signal’:
Some 72 hours laterMonday morning, Bland was found unresponsive in her cell.
Video of Bland’s encounter with police was uploaded to YouTube Friday. Bland is seen pinned to the ground by multiple officers. She pleads for help.
“You just slammed my head into the ground,” Bland can be heard yelling on the video. “Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear.”
As she’s being taken into custody and placed in the vehicle, she repeats the same sentiments.
“You slammed me into the ground and everything,” she yells.
“I do not have any information that would make me think it was anything other than just a suicide,” said Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis.
But Bland’s closest friends aren’t buying that explanation.
“I do suspect foul play,” said Cheryl Nanton, a friend of Bland’s. “I believe that we are all 100 percent in belief that she did not do harm to herself.”
Bland’s friend LaVaughn Mosley agrees.
“We’re very suspicious and we’re a very tight community and we’re very upset that this has happened,” he said. “And it seems like there’s nothing really being done about it.”
Bland’s death is currently being investigated by Texas Rangers.