Local sorority members react to Sandra Bland's death

Published: Jul. 22, 2015 at 9:55 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2016 at 2:39 PM EDT
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Linda Lanier joined her fellow Sigma Gamma Rho sorority members Wednesday by wearing all black to remember their sister, Sandra Bland.

"We wear black because we mourn as one," said Lanier.

Bland was arrested after a traffic stop in Texas. She was found hanged in her jail cell days later.

Bland was originally stopped for failing to signal a lane change.

The heated arrest shown on dash camera video is now leading her family to question whether Bland's death was truly a suicide as police suggest.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated is a historically black organization. It was founded in 1922 and boasts over 100,000 members.

Member and former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner also wore black.

"Sisters are aching all over this country. Policy members need to step in, but we also need law enforcement to step in to critique its own self and say what is right and wrong," said Turner.

While the organization's grief is unanimous, feelings are mixed about the interaction between Bland and the police officer.

Lanier advises younger sorority members to avoid escalating any interactions they have with authorities.

"Live to fight another day," Lanier said. "If it's necessary that you have to lose a right to gain your life, gain your life."

Turner does not believe Bland broke any laws and says her demeanor seen in the dash camera video should not have resulted in the treatment Bland received.

"Having an attitude is not an arrestable offense," said Turner.

The group is still in mourning as they await the results of the pending investigation.

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