Reflecting the in-custody deaths this week of two young black women, Sandra Bland and Kindra Chapman, and the seemingly endless torrent of police violence against black people, Twitter users launched the heartbreaking hashtag #IfIDieInPoliceCustody on Thursday night.
Sandra Bland, 28, was moving from the Chicago suburb of Naperville to Houston, Texas for a new job when she was stopped by Waller County police for failing to signal. She was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer. Monday morning, she died in her jail cell. Authorities have called it suicide by hanging, but her friends and family believe she was killed.
In Alabama, Kindra Chapman, 18, was arrested for allegedly stealing a cell phone. An hour after she was booked on Tuesday, she was also found dead in her cell, and authorities again attributed it to suicide by hanging, AL.com reports.
Read some of the tweets here:
#IfIDieInPoliceCustody, call my mom 1st, I don't want her to have to get the news from social media. And shut down the jail. Fareal.— fund the us postal service - defund the police (@fund the us postal service - defund the police) 1437145796.0
#IfIDieInPoliceCustody don't trust any report of me being aggressive, I put my humanity aside in interactions w/ cops to come home to my kid— Jamilah (@Jamilah) 1437107870.0
#IfIDieInPoliceCustody they will try to paint me as: 🔳 A. A Thug 🔳 B. A Thug 🔳 C. A Thug— L E F T, PhD ⚫️ (@L E F T, PhD ⚫️) 1437095342.0
#IfIDieInPoliceCustody ask my best friend for the talking points I gave her. Know I wouldn't want any respectability politics involved.— Johnetta Elzie (@Johnetta Elzie) 1437099481.0
#IfIDieInPoliceCustody is a trending hashtag. Let that sink in. #IfIDieInPoliceCustody IS TRENDING. People are afraid. Change is needed.— J. Shwah (@J. Shwah) 1437090852.0
#IfIDieInPoliceCustody don't try 2 use my background and education to say I didn't deserve this. I didn't deserve it without degrees either— C.E. Little, Ph.D. (@C.E. Little, Ph.D.) 1437088580.0