The autopsy of Sandra Bland, the Chicago-area woman who died in a Texas jail cell three days after being arrested, revealed the 28-year-old did commit suicide, a prosecutor said on 23 July. However, speculation continues to surround her death with some on social media alleging that Bland was already dead in her mugshots.
The Waller County sherrif's office claims Bland hanged herself using a plastic rubbish bag on 13 July. However, her family and supporters have questioned how she died and the details surrounding her death.
"I have not seen any evidence that this is a homicide," Warren Diepraam, the county's first assistant district attorney, said. According to the New York Times, Diepraam said that Bland's head, neck and hands did not appear to any visible signs of a violent struggle.
"In a violent homicide or a murder," Diepraam said, "it is typical to see some sort of injuries on the person's hand, defensive injuries." However, he said medical examiners "found no evidence whatsoever of any injuries on Miss Bland's hands."
According to the New York Times, Bland had nearly 30 cuts on her left forearm, some newer than others. Diepraam said they were consistent with being self-inflicted. Preliminary testing found marijuana in Bland's system, however, more accurate testing is expected.
Despite this new revelation, speculation over Bland's death and the details surrounding it have lighted up social media. According to BuzzFeed News, activists and reporters have raised questions and sharing conspiracy theories on social media about alleged inconsistencies in her booking records and mugshots.
Some have gone on to say that Bland was already dead in her mugshot. Bland was photographed wearing a prisoner's orange jumpsuit, which is not common with mugshots taken at Waller County Sheriff's Department.
The background of Bland's mugshot and the position of her shoulders also has people questioning when her photo was taken, BuzzFeed News reported.