Sanders: Sandra Bland would be alive 'if she were a white woman'
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' Warren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Ocasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make MORE (I-Vt.) said late Monday that Sandra Bland would not have died while in police custody in Texas if she were a white woman.


“Sandra Bland should not have died while in police custody,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that she, like too many African Americans who die in police custody, would be alive today if she were a white woman,” he continued.

“My thoughts are with her family and loved ones tonight. We need to reform a very broken criminal justice system.”

Sanders’s remarks follow a grand jury's decision Monday night to refuse returning indictments relating to Bland’s death earlier this year.

Bland, 28, was found hanged in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas on July 13. She was arrested following a confrontation with a police officer over a minor traffic stop. Video has since emerged of Bland arguing with Officer Brian Encinia over her alleged failure to signal she was changing lanes.

The Waller County coroner has since ruled her death a suicide, drawing angry skepticism from family members who point to her budding career as a lawyer.

Sanders has repeatedly condemned the incident, while Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton earlier this year described the incident as “particularly tragic.”

Two Texas Democrats, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green, are among several lawmakers who have urged the Justice Department to probe the circumstances surrounding Bland’s death.