Family of Sandra Bland Seeks Independent Autopsy

The family of Sandra Bland is ordering an independent autopsy to find out what really happened to the 28-year-old. Authorities claim that Bland committed suicide in their custody, but family members are skeptical. 

Bland’s body was found hanging in a Waller County, Texas jail cell last Monday, three days after she was arrested and booked following a routine traffic stop. Earlier this year, Bland posted a Facebook video in which she revealed her struggles with depression, but many family members say that Bland wouldn’t take her own life. 

“Based on the Sandy I knew, this is unfathomable to me,” Sharon Cooper, Bland’s sister, told reporters in Chicago. “People who knew her, truly knew her, the depth of her… that’s unfathomable right now.”

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Lawyers announced on Sunday, July 19, that Bland’s family had called for an independent autopsy, and they expect results by Wednesday. 

“We want to understand how it is that this kind of played out and what will end up ultimately being the cause of death,” family attorney Cannon Lambert told ABC News.

The case is currently being investigated by both the Texas Rangers and the FBI. Last night, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis announced that authorities were treating the case as a murder investigation, due to unanswered questions that he says he wants resolved. “I want fingerprints run, I want…DNA tests run on the trash bag,” Mathis said, referring to plastic bag the Bland was from hanging from. “It needs a thorough and exhaustive review.”

The findings of their probe will be turned over to a Texas grand jury after it reconvenes next month. The family is scheduled to meet with both investigators and Mathis later this week.