In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Attorney General Loretta Lynch discussed Sandra Bland’s death, saying “the one thing that has come out of this tragic, tragic situation—the loss of life of this young woman—has been a discussion about specific police techniques.”
Bland’s death, which was officially reported as a suicide but is being treated like a homicide investigation, has been under a lot of public speculation. After being pulled over during a July 10 traffic stop, the 28-year-old was held in a Texas County Jail for three days before being found dead in her jail cell. Before her death, she was expected to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, and attempted to post bail, leaving many to raise doubts that she would commit suicide.
“Many people see this situation escalating, and I think it shows the frustration that many minority communities feel when they feel that, you know, maybe it wouldn’t have escalated in a different community,” Lynch said. “I hope that can bring this situation to light as well, so that the people understand the frustration that many minority members feel when they’re stopped by police.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice launched a pilot program that funds training for police forces to build better police-community relations. In May, Lynch spearheaded an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, and as head of DOJ she has been very vocal about the need to find a healing ground between police and the communities of color they serve.