Suicide and Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland

Having lost friends to suicide, I can tell you that in some cases there were no obvious signs. Suicide can sometimes be impulsive and happen quickly, even when the victim had appeared well and happy just before.

I think Sandra Bland should not have been arrested, I think the cop was totally in the wrong and needlessly escalated the encounter, but as to her death in a jail cell there are legitimate questions, and it is not impossible that she killed herself. Naturally, her family thinks it’s impossible because they have their own image of her, but we all know a loved one’s image of someone is not always reality. Even family can miss things. Sometimes even best friends can miss signs. Sometimes people are really good at hiding what’s going on inside.

If Bland was murdered inside her cell, the available evidence shows it would have been extremely difficult for anyone to have killed her, not without a massive conspiracy, a conspiracy so massive it just doesn’t seem to be worth the trouble. That’s what led to a further conspiracy theory making the rounds that Bland was dead BEFORE she was put in the cell… but subsequent arrival and booking video shows she was alive when she was locked up.

“But the video was faked like the arrest video!” some conspiracists cry.

Yes, there were problems with the arrest video, but I think those were technical glitches from digital copies made from the digital source. If the glitches we saw were the result of purposeful tampering to cover something up, it was a TERRIBLE job. Way too obvious if someone was really trying to hide something. In my media work, I’ve seen those kinds of copying glitches before. Either way, none of the glitches appear to have covered up anything that wasn’t already seen in the other video shot by a bystander.

So, my personal conclusion is that I can’t automatically dismiss the possibility that Sandra Bland did indeed commit suicide. Just because I no longer believe cops deserve the benefit of the doubt, and just because I no longer take a cop’s word for it, doesn’t mean they’re automatically guilty of everything. While there’s no evidence that proves Bland killed herself, there’s no evidence she didn’t, but the available evidence at least supports the possibility that it was suicide.

Unfortunately, we may never know for sure, and because we may never know, people who are already on one side or the other will remain convinced, and no quarter will be given to anyone who thinks “Hmm, wait a minute, I’m not so sure anymore.” And once a conspiracy theory gets lodged in someone’s head, it’s nearly impossible to get it out.