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Twitter has a Question: #WhatHappenedtoSandraBland?

Today I begin writing about a topic that has completely sickened me to research and I’m not alone. The hashtag #WhatHappenedtoSandraBland has been gathering momentum over the last 24 hours on Twitter and I hope it continues until Sandy's family get the answer they deserve. 

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This recent scandal has lit up on social media after a few videos were released showing the footage of Sandra Bland’s arrest. For a woman who once used her social media accounts to speak her mind about racism and discrimination it is now heartbreaking to see how she has been victimized. 

I'm refusing to entertain the idea that the arrest was fair and that the policeman acted according to the law. Because he didn't. Not in my opinion.

Sandra or 'Sandy', was a 28 year old woman from Texas and she has become just another harsh example of how corrupt America can be.

The horror story began because…well… she didn’t signal in her car when switching lanes. This minor traffic offence resulted in her death. 

She was who imprisoned because of this offence and the arguments that followed and ended up taking her own life whilst in her cell. Or so we are led to believe.

Supposedly, the young woman who had just got a new job managed to kill herself with a plastic bag which she fashioned into a noose and somehow, no-one saw or heard anything and coincidentally there is no camera in that cell to monitor her. 

The initial uproar is not with the conspiracies around her death, but actually to do with what seems to be a normal policing protocol in America.

Sandra was aggressively confronted by the authorities from the get go. His behaviour, to me, was unacceptable, he threatened to "light her up" (taser her) and when he hit her head against the floor, she warned him about her epilepsy. All he said was "good."

I can't put my disgust into words.

I understand that police demand respect but I can also see that this power hungry "cop" was looking for a fight. I find it hard to believe that even if she had remained completely calm, the outcome of this situation would not have been much different. 

How stereo-typically Texan do they want to be? "Oh, here is a powerless female in the middle of Texas who also happens to be a minority ethnicity. Let's beat her up. We'll get away with it, we always have. Right?"

Wrong.

Not anymore. Because there's a new form of justice floating around and it goes by the name of Social Media.

We have a way to stand up for ourselves and unite now. There are days where I curse the creation of Facebook, but at times like these I am so impressed with the sheer power of social media.

This incident will not be forgotten. 

Years ago, in a post-Twitter age, Sandra's tragedy would have barely made the news. But these days, we're all fighting for the highest of high grounds that are also oh-so-moral. And whilst sometimes we come across proud, righteous and not-always-right, there are also upsides to this fighting spirit that we're mustering up. 

So how does social media help keep the ball of justice rolling?

Well, I don't know if you've noticed ... but social media is full of over-thinkers, analysers and trolls. So there is always someone ready to point out an inconsistency. This can range from anything from a typo to a full blown conspiracy. 

For Sandra and her family, everyone is poking holes in the authority's cover ups. 

Not just us little people either, even big names like Kim Kardashian are getting involved.



On top of this, conspiracies are emerging from all angles. As I mentioned earlier, things don't add up with how Sandra even came to be arrested, let alone dead with no-one realising until it was too late.

The are also reports that the initial video released by authorities was edited in some way.

People have noticed an officer throw something in the bin on the CCTV before the paramedics arrive to take away Sandra's body.

Her mug shots have also been the focus of the media's attention, due to the lack of a side shot, her clothes and the colour of the wall / floor that she is photographed on. Tweeters have been wondering if she's even already dead in her photo.


Shouldn't she have been photographed before her clothes were changed? Or did the authorities slip up again and miss another policing must - like the Miranda rights, because they were forgotten too.

The whole thing is getting very dark and eerie and I can't help but wonder if this is making things harder for Sandra's loved ones. On the flip side however, I also wonder if they're touched by the support from millions of strangers/celebrities around the globe.

This time, social media hasn't done enough to prevent something awful from happening, but they have raised awareness in a way that charities and foundations have been trying to do for decades.

No-one can change what happened to Sandra and it will be a while before America can clear its policing culture of the sordid stories of corruption and racism. But, you social media soldiers should keep fighting this battle, because you are getting somewhere.

This news would never have had the reach it now has, if not for social media. Every life matters and when it is lost in a situation so easily avoided it makes you take a step back and really think about what is wrong with the world.

American Police. Yes.
Racism. Yes.
Cover Ups. Yes.
Government. Definitely.

Social Media? No.



Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

 
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Twitter has a Question: #WhatHappenedtoSandraBland? Reviewed by Megan Herdson on Monday, July 27, 2015 Rating: 5

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