Sandra Annette Bland, 28, the Chicago-area woman whose arrest and death in Texas has intensified a national conversation about police conduct, was memorialized during a wake and funeral service attended by hundreds of mourners Saturday. At the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois, where Bland was a member, mourners recalled her as a smart and outspoken individual who cherished her participation in the youth choir and frequently looked out for the congregation’s elderly members, the New York Times reported.

Bland’s family chose not to have the service televised, but its members allowed media representatives and the public to observe the arrival of her casket at 8:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. EDT). People arrived by the dozens dressed in all white or other “Sunday best” attire. Some wore T-shirts with the Twitter hashtag, “#SandySpeaks,” which has been used by civil-rights activists to publicize her case.

Before the service Saturday, Bland’s story had already been extensively shared across the country by people suspicious of official accounts of the July 10 traffic stop that resulted in her jailing for allegedly assaulting a Texas state trooper. Bland was found dead July 13 of an apparent suicide by hanging at the jail in Waller County, Texas. Several attendees at the funeral said they doubt the explanation offered by police -- that she was distraught about being incarcerated and took her own life.

“This is someone who had over 50 selfies, healthy self-esteem,” the Rev. Theresa Dear, an associate minister at DuPage, told the New York Times. “[She was] someone who had two job offers. Someone who just talked to her family and knew that help and rescue was on the way. This is someone who knew the Lord, and was extremely close with her church family and her sisters, her biological family. None of that adds up to taking one’s life or suicide.”

Evelyn Ebert attended the funeral service Saturday, but said she did not know Bland personally. “As an African-American woman, [I’m here] just to show my solidarity to her family and in support of the African-American community and the struggles that we have,” Ebert told WLS-TV in Chicago. “I’ve been through that myself, so I have empathy with her. And she had a very promising life ahead of her and it’s very unfortunate.”

Three days before she was discovered dead by jail guards in Hempstead, Texas, Bland had traveled to the area because she had just accepted a job offer at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. She was pulled over by Brian Encinia, the state trooper, for failing to signal before changing lanes.

Widely seen dashboard-camera video shows Encinia and Bland arguing over whether Bland should extinguish a cigarette and be more cooperative with Encinia. The exchange escalated to Encinia threatening Bland with his stun gun before removing her from her vehicle and handcuffing her, out of view of the dashcam.

Bland was transported to jail and charged with assaulting Encinia, 30, who has been placed on administrative leave for violating state trooper policies during the stop, the New York Times reported. Bland remained in the jail for two days, while waiting for family members to raise the money for a $5,000 bond.

News of her reported suicide sparked outcries on social media, where people compared her case with others involving perceived overreaction and unwarranted uses of excessive force by law-enforcement officials in the past year.

“When I watch the official dashcam video, that could have easily been me,” the Rev. Morgan Dixon told the Times before Bland’s funeral service. “Sandy, to me, was calmer than I would have been. If you pull me over for something as simple as that, either write me the ticket or don’t and be on your way. It would be very difficult to me to want to adhere to that authority.”