On July 13, 2015, Sandra Bland died in a Texas jail cell in a case that has left a host of unanswered questions and outrage as to what exactly happened to the then-28-year-old. Her family received a $1.9 million wrongful death settlement in September 2016, yet her mother is advocating to ensure her daughter’s fate never happens to anyone else.
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According to the Huffington Post, Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, returned to Texas for the first time in two years to testify before Texas lawmakers to call for a full police reform.
The report of her testimony on police reform states:
Geneva Reed-Veal testified before state lawmakers Tuesday to call for reform of racial profiling laws, officer training for mental health awareness and de-escalation tactics, and other measures to hold police accountable in what was drafted as the Sandra Bland Act, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Reed-Veal, who lives in Chicago, stressed to the House homeland security committee that the bill aims to ensure that cops aren’t abusing their power against citizens and that it is not an anti-police bill.
The legislation is up against some opposition from local police associations, which oppose provisions in the Sandra Bland Act that will prohibit cops from arresting those who commit low-level misdemeanors that are punishable only by fines. The bill has less than two months to make it to Gov. Greg Abbott before the Texas Legislature adjourns until 2019.
During her testimony, Reed-Veal gave an impassioned plea to Texas lawmakers. She stated, “I need this bill to move forward so that it will prove to people who say that Texas is the most awful state to live in. And to me that’s true, because Texas is a place of pain for me. So, I need you to think about what you have the power and ability to do today.”