I am honored to partner with The Earl Carl Institute for Legal & Social Policy, Black Greeks Speak, and many other advocacy organizations to present tonight’s open discussion, #WhatHappenedtoSandraBland: “A Community Forum for Devising Strategies for Accountability in Combating this Epidemic.”
On July 13, 2015, Sandra Bland, a 28-year old African American female, was found dead in her cell in the Waller County Jail. What started as police stop for a minor traffic violation ended with the tragic death of this young woman three days later.
Sandra’s death is not an isolated incident but a sobering reminder of the systematic issues we still face in our criminal justice system. In Texas, 60 percent of the individuals in the county jails across the state have yet been convicted of any crime. Instead, the majority of those not yet convicted merely cannot afford to post bail. Even though African Americans are 12 percent of the population in Texas, they make up 35 percent of those incarcerated in the state.
We must move forward toward a more fair, equitable, and effective justice system we can rely on. #WhatHappenedtoSandraBland will provide the community a forum to start the conversation on how we move forward and work together to reform the inadequacies in our criminal justice system.
Please join this important discussion to push this state forward and ensure that all people, regardless of color or class, are treated equally and fairly under the law.