They Killed Her. They Fucking Killed Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland via Facebook
Sandra Bland via Facebook

My wife and I went to the YMCA tonight; her to take a yoga class, me to play basketball. After the Y we went to Giant Eagle, and sat in the parking lot for 10 minutes to create a grocery list. While doing this, I checked my phone for emails, texts, and Facebook/Twitter notifications. A link shared on my Facebook feed took me to Gawker. And there I watched several minutes of the recently released dashcam footage of Sandra Bland's arrest.

And then I started crying.

My wife didn't notice it. She was still going over the list on her phone. Plus, I wasn't bawling. My eyes had just begun to water. Not wanting her to see them, I spent a minute or so just staring out my window, trying to will them dry. It didn't work.

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She finally noticed something was wrong.

"Babe, is everything ok?"

"They killed her. They fucking killed her."

I'm sure the anger will come. And then the outrage. And then my mind will be clearer. And then I'll be able to write something better. Something (hopefully) powerful and poetic and poignant about police brutality. About Sandra Bland.

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But right now, at this moment, I just feel a sadness. An all-encompassing, panoramic, sadness that plateaus momentarily and then crescendos every time I write Sandra Bland or see Sandra Bland's name. I am devastated by this. And that devastation escalates when seeing my wife and the child she's carrying and realizing how easily — how effortlessly — Sandra Bland could have been her. Screamed on, threatened, and forced out of her car like a fucking dog. And suffocated, alone, in a fucking jail cell. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck this fucking shit, man. Fuck.

I have nothing else to say tonight. I am hopeful and confident that I will have more to say about this eventually. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. Good night.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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DISCUSSION

misstlee-disqus
miss t-lee

I've driven through that area plenty of times. Lots of little speed trap towns up and down 290. I have two cousins that just graduated from PV last year, I have one there now. The DPS are notorious azzholes. I've gotten stopped by them more than a few times due to my lead foot. Once during said traffic stop, he looked my license and tried to start some sh*t because I wasn't wearing my glasses. I told him that I was wearing my contacts, because I can't see 5 feet in front of me without either/or.
Dude proceeded to tell me that he didn't believe me. So now, we're just staring at each other. He goes and runs my license and it comes back fine, so then he wants to let me on my way like 20 minutes later.
Pretty much all of us have been in some kind of stop with an officer who wants to play John Wayne cowboy. That's the thing that's so chilling. That literally could be any one of us, at anytime.
I'd been avoiding watching the video, but last night they ran it on local news so I ended up seeing it anyway. Things escalated to point that they never should have gone, over a lane change with no blinker?

Disgusting.