Was Sandra Bland Already Dead When Her Mugshot Was Taken?

As theories circulate that Bland may have already been dead when her mugshot was taken, autopsy results were revealed during a press conference.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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As further details surrounding the death of Sandra Bland while in police custody are released, one increasingly prevalent theory among the public is that Bland was not only the fatal victim of sickening police brutality — but that her mugshot was taken after her death. As previously reported and immediately questioned by a growing number of friends, family, and general citizens — the Harris County medical examiner initially ruled Bland's death a suicide.

Chief among the presented evidence for those positing that Bland's death occurred before the mugshot are multiple inconsistencies in booking documents that appear to imply coercion or manipulation of some kind from various officials:

These same booking documents, released via a 15-page PDF on Wednesday, also include glaring inconsistencies regarding her supposed "suicidal tendencies" — a source of contention for both sides:

"I think I saw a plastic bag hanging from something."

Elsewhere, many speculate that Bland's reported use of a plastic bag as a tool for hanging herself is a particularly confounding element in the purported cause of death. Many point to Justice of the Peace Charles Karisch's initial statement as a specific cause of concern, including the following less-than-certain assertion:

Additional doubt is instilled by the supposed placement by a foreign party of a copy of the Holy Bible within the crime scene, strategically left open to a specific passage in Psalms. On Thursday, prosecutors stated they had found "no injuries consistent with violent homicide" and were ruling her death as a "suicide by hanging," though the case is still currently being handled by Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis as a murder investigation. For reasons we can only describe as a poor though entirely predictable attempt at conjuring outmoded thoughts on marijuana usage to deride the integrity of the deceased, prosecutors took great care to mention that Bland had marijuana in her system during her time in jail. You don't need us to remind you that marijuana implies nothing.

More to come.


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