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Sandra Bland’s family settles for $1.9M in wrongful death suit

WALLER COUNTY, TEXAS -- Sandra Bland's family has reached a $1.9 million settlement from a wrongful death lawsuit, the family's attorney said Thursday.

The settlement includes compensation for Bland's death as well as several changes to jail procedures in Waller County, Texas, where Bland died.

The details of the settlement were finalized Wednesday night, attorney Cannon Lambert said.

Bland was found dead in her jail cell three days after she was arrested for failing to use her turn signal in July 2015.

It was determined Bland hanged herself.

Jail personnel found her not breathing and hanging from a trash bag on the morning of July 13. The sheriff's office said it "appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation."
Jailhouse documents give a conflicting picture of Bland's mental state.

A form that appeared to be filled out by hand after her arrest states that Bland tried to overdose with pills in 2014 after losing a baby.

And there are check marks next to "yes" on questions about depression and suicidal thoughts.

Yet a separate document, which appears to be from a computer, has "no" answers next to questions about mental illness and attempted suicide. The apparent discrepancy hasn't been explained.

"I have a hard time dealing with inconsistency and that seems to have been the theme over the last couple of days here," Bland's sister, Sharon Cooper said.

Video of Bland arriving at the jail was released to stop rumors she was already dead when she arrived.

Her handcuffs are removed during an initial intake, at which she appears to be coherent and cooperative.

At one point, Bland holds her head in her hands. At another point, she steps into a bathroom to change her clothes. Bland has her mugshot taken, and she can be seen making a phone call.

In the days leading up to Sandra Bland's death, she wasn't eating and was emotional, a former jail mate said.

Alexandria Pyle , who was in a neighboring cell at the Waller County Jail in Texas, said Bland was upset because her bond was set at $5,000 and no one was returning her jailhouse calls.

"She wasn't eating and when I did talk to her, she was just crying and crying and all I could say was they could not hold you forever," Pyle said.