Sandra Bland exhibit opens at Houston museum

HOUSTON – A Houston museum exhibit is celebrating the life of Sandra Bland this Black History Month. 

The exhibit to celebrate the life of Bland, who died while in police custody in July 2015, began with a reception Saturday at the Houston Museum of African-American Culture.

The exhibit features interactive elements, including a car in which visitors can sit and watch dash cam video from the traffic stop that escalated into her arrest.

“We hope this exhibition will bring our multicultural audience to a better understanding of the fear African-Americans have toward encounters with the police,” said John Guess, the museum's chief executive officer.

The museum exhibit tells the story of Bland’s life through pictures, and then moves to the day in July 2015 when she was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper for an alleged traffic violation in Waller County. 

The interaction led to Bland’s arrest. She was placed in the Waller County Jail. 

Bland was found three days after her arrest hanged to death in her cell. The medical examiner's office ruled it a suicide, but her family and friends dispute that finding.

The trooper who arrested Bland has permanently surrendered his Texas Commission on Law Enforcement license. He has agreed to not pursue or engage in employment with law enforcement.

A community panel will take place on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the museum as part of the

The Bland exhibit will run through Feb. 28.