Police brutality activists protesting the death of an African-American woman have demanded that people “say her name” to keep the cases in the spotlight. Now, motorists and residents of a northern Texas city will soon see Sandra Bland’s name on street signs near her alma mater.
The City Council in Prairie View, Texas, voted Tuesday to change the name of University Drive to Sandra Bland Parkway, the local KHOU-TV reported. Bland, the 28-year-old Chicago-area woman who was found dead in her jail cell in a county jail just days after she was arrested by a Texas trooper, was expected to begin a new job at Prairie View A&M University before she died.
University Drive stretches from State Highway 290 to Owens Road, where the university’s campus begins. Before the five-member City Council voted to rename the road, family and friends of Bland held a “walk of solidarity” Tuesday afternoon with university students.
The group marched from the university to Prairie View City Hall, where the council meeting was held, according to reports.
Bland’s death sparked national attention amid protests over police brutality and racial profiling by police against people of color in the U.S. She was pulled over on June 10 for failing to signal a lane. Dashboard video shows she was argumentative with the involved officer, Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia, who threatened her with a Taser and later made the arrest.
Bland was booked in the Waller County Jail for three days, while family members and close friends worked to gather money for her bail on charges that she assaulted Encinia. She was found dead of an apparent hanging on July 13. The medical examiner twice ruled it a suicide, but family and protesters remain convinced that there was foul play at the jail.
Encinia had been suspended for violating department protocols in his arrest of Bland, but charges have not been filed against him. The Waller County District Attorney’s Office has convened an independent team to investigate the case further, KHOU reported.