(HEMPSTEAD, Texas) — Details from an autopsy released Thursday indicated that Sandra Bland died as a result of suicide and that there were no signs of struggle that would be consistent with a violent death.
Warren Diepraam, the first assistant district attorney in Waller County, read details from the toxicology and autopsy reports that were conducted by the Harris County medical examiner, detailing how there were no injuries noted on Bland’s face or hands that someone would typically sustain during a violent struggle.
He did note that Bland had roughly 30 marks on her wrist that were in a “state of healing” which Diepraam said would indicate “that they may have been placed on her body roughly two to four weeks prior to incarceration.”
Jail intake forms indicated that Bland attempted suicide either in 2014 or 2015 after losing a baby. But they indicated that Bland was not feeling suicidal on the day she was jailed following a heated traffic stop on July 10.
She was found hanging by a plastic bag in her cell three days later. Jail officials have said that she told an officer she was “fine” just hours before her death.
The autopsy found “no bite marks or other injuries on her face, on her lips, on her tongue which would be consistent with a violent struggle,” Diepraam said.
It also found no petechiae, or bleeding under the skin, that would indicate strangulation.
They did find scabs on Bland’s back that were healing at the time of her death, which were consistent with someone applying force on her back. Bland can be heard on dash cam video saying that an officer had a knee on her back.
But it was not clear if the injuries were caused by another person or her slamming herself against something or someone.
Diepraam confirmed that she had ingested marijuana though it is not clear when or where she could have taken the drug.
“There’s nothing about this case that’s standard,” Diepraam said.
An independent autopsy has been conducted but the results have not been released.
Bland’s sister, Sharon Cooper, said that there was “Deep tissue bruising to her back which is consistent with the officer having his knee in her back.”
Her family has also called for an investigation by the Department of Justice.
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