In light of the ongoing controversy over the death of Sandra Bland, the woman found dead in a Texas jail cell after being pulled over for changing lanes, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis announced on Monday that he has asked two defense attorneys to review the evidence in the case. “We want this county to be an open book, and for all the information to be shared with any agency that desires,” Mathis said.
While no one has raised particular concerns about attorneys Lewis M. White and Darrell W. Jordan, several people told the Houston Chronicle that the review committee does not increase their confidence in the investigation. Protester Carie Cauley told the paper, “I think if the independent prosecutor is in any way connected to Waller County or these families that work here, it won’t be.” “[Mathis] is not bound to take their advice, suggestions or recommendations, so it’s just window dressing,” added former Waller County justice of the peace Dewayne Charleston. “They could give him the best, most accurate recommendation but if he’s not obligated to to accept it or just takes parts of it, it doesn’t really matter.”
Bland’s family has hired a doctor to perform an independent autopsy and review the toxicology report, which showed she had marijuana in her system. “We have always said that we wanted a full, thorough and fair investigation, and we were prepared for whatever the outcome may be,” Sharon Cooper, Bland’s sister, told the New York Times. “But it’s not enough for you just to tell us at face value, you have to show us. And unfortunately, we haven’t been shown.”