In ceremonies Friday, University Drive signs leading to Prairie View A&M University were replaced with Sandra Bland Parkway signs in memory of university graduate Sandra Bland, who was pulled over and arrested last summer and died in police custody. The ceremony, which mayor Frank D. Jackson attempted to cancel the day before, was attended by approximately 100 activists, students and family members. A sign across Sandra Bland Parkway also designates a patch of grass as the future site of Sandra Bland Park.
Bland, who was 28 years of age at the time of her arrest, was pulled over by a state trooper last July for an improper lane change. When the traffic stop got vehement, she was arrested and jailed, where she was found dead in her cell three days later. Her death was ruled a suicide. The case was one of many that caused a national outrage about the treatment of minorities by police officials.
Prior to the traffic stop, Bland had recently moved back to the area from Chicago to start a new job at the University. Her family has since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Waller County, the Texas Department of Public Safety and DPS trooper Brian Encinia, the officer who arrested her (and has been fired).