Sandra Bland's Mom at DNC: Hillary Clinton Is a 'Mother Who Will Say Our Children's Names'
In a moving speech in honor of her daughter Sandra Bland, Geneva Reed-Veal expressed heartfelt support for Hillary Clinton as president of the United States at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
"I am here with Hillary Clinton tonight, because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children's names," Reed-Veal said. "She knows that when a young black life is cut short it's not just a loss. It's a personal loss. It's a national loss. It's a loss that diminishes all of us."
Reed-Veal was one several black women featured as "Mothers of the Movement" on the second day of the Democratic National Convention — one day after the anniversary of Bland's funeral. In her speech, she named other women, including Kindra Chapman, Joyce Curnell, Ralkina Jones and several others who died while in police custody.
"I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine," Reed-Veal said. "I watched as my daughter, Sandra Bland, was lowered into the ground in a coffin."
Sandra Bland was found dead hanging in her jail cell on July 13, 2015. On July 10, 2015, Bland was pulled over by Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia for not providing a lane signal change. The dashcam footage shows Encinia slamming Bland's head to the ground and arresting her in an aggressive manner.
The Waller County, Texas, coroner ruled Bland's death a suicide, saying that she died by hanging herself with a trash bag. After intense public scrutiny and pressure, the Waller County District Attorney's office announced that they would begin treating Bland's death as a murder investigation. Recently, Bland's family attorney announced that a Waller County jail officer admitted that he falsified logs and failed to check on Bland an hour before her death.
Speaking in April at the newly formed Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, Geneva Reed-Veal, Sandra Bland's mother, said that it didn't make sense for Bland to kill herself. Bland had recently left Naperville, Illinois, to start a new job with her alma mater Prairie View A&M as an outreach officer for the university.
Veal, the owner of a real estate business, has been outspoken in combatting social injustice and gun violence in the United States. She also has made several appearances on Hillary Clinton's campaign trail.
Watch the mothers of the movement speak here: