In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, the Waller County District Attorney revealed preliminary autopsy results in the death of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old black woman who was found dead in her jail cell days after being arrested for a traffic stop, saying that examiners discovered no apparent injuries consistent with a violent homicide or struggle.
Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam told reporters that he was presenting physical rather than criminal findings, but said there was no evidence found in the autopsy of injuries to Bland’s hands or internal organs to suggest a violent struggle had taken place in the jail. Previously, a medical examiner called her death a suicide by hanging. Bland’s family disputes the finding.
Diepraam: No damage to internal organs. Usually during violent strangulation the hyoid bone is damaged and neck damaged. #SandraBland
— Jayme Fraser (@JaymeKFraser) July 23, 2015
There was no evidence the first autopsy performed on Bland was defective as was previously alleged by an attorney representing Bland’s family, Diepraam added.
According to the new autopsy findings, Bland’s injuries were consistent with having “a force against her back.”
A portion of the press conference focused on the presence of marijuana found in Bland’s system—confirmed by preliminary autopsy results. Many took to social media to question the relevance of the finding.
Press conference “Marijuana in her system” mentioned again & again, WTF that got to do with anything again? Stop the sideshow
we’re in phase 3 of the character assassination against #SandraBland, right? where they say she had marijuana in her system.
— Michelle Huxtable (@MichelleHux) July 23, 2015