July 17, 2015

AUSTIN, TX – On Friday, July 10, a Department of Public Safety Trooper made a traffic stop in Prairie View for failure to signal a lane change. According to DPS, the driver, Sandra Bland, became argumentative and uncooperative and was taken into custody for assault of a public servant. She was booked into the Waller County Jail.

On Monday, Ms. Bland died in custody. The Harris County medical examiner has ruled her death a suicide. Ms. Bland’s death is the basis for an ongoing investigation by the Texas Rangers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. DPS is also reviewing her traffic stop.

Representative Bell, the state representative for Waller County, made the following statement: “Rest assured I am aware of the situation and am being briefed regularly on this ongoing investigation. I appreciate the decision of Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith to request that the Texas Rangers perform the investigation, and respect the decision of the Rangers to bring in the FBI. I am confident in the law enforcement officers and agents who are assigned to this investigation and in the abilities of DPS Region 2 Commander Duane Steen to assure that this investigation is handled thoroughly and completely, and to the highest of professional standards.

At this time the law enforcement personnel assigned to this investigation need to be able to do their work without interruption, intervention, or distraction. I ask that the citizens of Waller County and of Texas join me in praying for Ms. Bland’s family during this time.”

For more information contact:
Jessica Magee
Chief of staff, Rep. Bell