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Waller County's sheriff had been suspended, accused of being a racist, as a police chief eight years ago, fueling more speculation about what happened to Bland. In 2007, Glenn Smith was suspended for two weeks without pay by the Hempstead City Council for complaints of racism against him and four other white officers.
Smith was later fired as police chief the next year. He became the nominee for Waller County sheriff the following year. At a news conference on Thursday, Smith said he was not a racist.
Bland disclosed on a form at the jail that she previously had attempted suicide over that past year, although she also indicated she was not feeling suicidal at the time of her arrest, according to officials who attended the Tuesday meeting with local and state leaders investigating the case.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, told the Chronicle that officials at the meeting said Bland's suicide attempt was related to losing a baby. But Turner said Bland's mental health history still remains "a little bit fuzzy."
Turner said Bland's disclosure about her suicide attempt to jail authorities should have led to increased supervision by jail staff. And it illustrates "the need to make sure we provide the care and the interventions for people who are having behavioral and mental health issues when people are coming into our county jail system."
However, at 7:17 a.m. CT July 13, the video shows an officer stopped by her cell for several seconds. Bland told him she was fine, investigators said.
Less than an hour later, a female officer checked in. In the video the deputy is seen bending down, standing up and then running for help.
"The jailer looked through the window and observed Miss Bland hanging from her privacy partition in her cell," said Capt. Brian Cantrell of the Waller County Sheriff's Office. "I'd also like to reiterate that she was found in a semi-standing position with ligatures (bindings) surrounding her neck.
"Ms. Bland was then placed on the floor for jailers to perform CPR," he said.
Five minutes later, paramedics went in but Bland was already dead. The Harris County medical examiner later ruled her death a suicide, hanging via the black plastic bag used to create privacy for cellmates.
originally posted by: Xeven
Why do Jail cells have anything that you could hang yourself on in the first place? That is the real question.
originally posted by: masqua
a reply to: Willtell
I guess you mean over the weekend, right?
She was arrested on Friday and dead by Monday, plus she was travelling from Chicago to Texas where she got busted for failing to signal a lane change.
What I still don't know is if she was able to call her parents after the arrest and before her death.
DPS said its trooper did not adequately explain consequences to Bland and also broke policy. However, Treece did not see grounds for her arrest on video.