Community reacts to death inside Waller County Jail

Dozens of protestors march over death of Sandra Bland

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

WALLER COUNTY, Texas - The small city of Hempstead, Texas, was in the national spotlight this week when protestors walked through the city over the death of Sandra Bland.

Dozens of protestors marched Friday from the Waller County Jail to the Waller County Courthouse, asking for justice.

Bland, 28, was found dead Monday in a Waller County jail cell after authorities said she hanged herself with a plastic trash bag. It is an act those close to her question.

She was found a few days after a Department of Public Safety trooper pulled over Bland's Hyundai on University Boulevard in Prairie View for failure to signal a lane change.

DPS said Bland was "argumentative and uncooperative." She was arrested for assault on a public servant.

Bland was set to start a new job at Prairie View A&M University on July 13.

"It's always pretty cool when your little hometown is in the spotlight, but it's not too cool when it's in a negative light," said Kalum Haak, who grew up in Hempstead.

Mary Ann Drawl of the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce said there have been many people posting negative comments about the city on social media.

"There were many people saying they weren't going to come to the annual Watermelon Festival this weekend because there was going to be a riot," Drawl said.

But crowds filled the festival Saturday afternoon without any incidents.

A prayer vigil is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Hope A.M.E. Church near where Bland was arrested.

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