Dallas remembers Sandra Bland and demands justice
Dallas, TX – About 60 people gathered at Belo Park here, July 22, to remember Sandra Bland, the young African American woman who died in police custody in Waller County, Texas, and to demand justice for her. The activists listened to a number of speeches and a few prayers, before marching through downtown chanting “What's her name? Sandra Bland,” and other slogans.
Olinka Green, the principal organizer of the event, grew emotional while speaking about Bland's death. “She could have been me. I was arrested for my activism, too. I was mistreated by police. I was taken to jail. And I could have ended up like her, except for the people who looked in on me.”
Protesters did not accept the police claim that Bland's death was a suicide. “We have seen from the video tapes that they are lying about her assaulting the officer. If they are lying about her assaulting the officer, why should we believe them about the suicide?” one protester asked.
John Fullinwider, president of the Dallas Peace Center, pointed out the racist discrimination involved in the case, stating, “My wife's name is Sandra, but she's white. If she had driven through this town and she had failed to signal a turn, would this have happened to her? No, it wouldn't have. She would not even have been stopped.”