One of the most heartbreaking hashtags to ever hit the internet went viral on social media recently: #IfIDieInPoliceCustody. When things go viral, this means they’re trending. In the wake of 28-year-old Sandra Bland’s untimely death while in police custody, people are demanding answers. She was pulled over for not using a turn signal, brutalized during her arrest (assault on a public servant) and was found dead in her jail cell three days later.
Of course the authorities are claiming she hanged herself in that cell, but Bland’s family and friends maintain that she was happy and excited to start a new job at Prairie View A&M University.
Thankfully social media has banned together with Bland’s family to continue questioning her death. Her name became a trending topic and then #IfIDieInPoliceCustody exploded with people sharing heartbreaking requests if they were to face the same fate as Bland and so many others, like Kimberlee-Randle King and Kindra Darnell Chapman who both were found dead in their jail cells.
Authorities are supposed to protect and serve and when civilians are under their custody, they’re vulnerable to whatever those officers of the law decide to do. It’s not like we haven’t seen countless video footage of police using excessive force while arresting people, so believing that officers could possibly have something to do with the deaths of these poor souls in custody wouldn’t be far-fetched.
The #IfIDieInPoliceCustody hashtag may be heartbreaking, but what it’s doing is telling a narrative of people who wouldn’t want their family members to have to swallow that their loved one took their own life. It opens up the possibility of police wrongdoing and creates a level of accountability for police who believe they’re above the law.
Check out some of the soul-stirring tweets: