Texas City Decides to Keep Road Named After Sandra Bland

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The city council here decided Tuesday to keep a stretch of road that leads to Sandra Bland’s alma mater named in her honor.

Last month, the Prairie View City Council named the road after Bland, 28, whose death in a Waller County, Texas, jail sparked outrage.

Bland was pulled over by police July 10 on University Drive — which will now be called Sandra Bland Parkway — for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. When her interaction with Texas state Trooper Brian Encinia escalated into a confrontation, he arrested her on a charge of assaulting a public servant and took her to jail.

She was found hanging in her cell July 13, three days after her arrest, a death that a medical examiner ruled a suicide.

On Tuesday, city council members heard complaints from some longtime residents, indicating the divide in the community over the street sign and what it represents.

When the council voted in August to rename the road in Bland’s memory, they hoped that it would serve as a reminder of the injustices they say she suffered while in Waller County.

A council member reopened the issue Tuesday because everyone didn’t get to speak at the August meeting.

“If I get pulled over, they’re gonna see Sandra Bland Parkway and think twice,” said supporter Latoya Smith.

Many longtime Prairie View residents said Bland doesn’t represent their community.

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SOURCE: USA Today; KHOU-TV, Alice Barr