Lately, some people have claimed Sandra Bland was dead when the mugshot of her was taken. First, we have to get beyond the ghoulish nature of anyone who would do such a thing, but we ARE talking about Hempstead Texas…where the Sheriff was once suspended (without pay) from being Chief of the PoPo in Hempstead for being a racist asshole.
Here’s the background of this issue http://www.inquisitr.com/2277507/was-sandra-bland-dead-in-her-mugshot-grim-speculation-grips-social-media/ and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/sandra-bland-twitter-erupts-over-theory-that-hanged-woman-was-already-dead-in-her-mugshot-10411761.html
Her neck muscles called the SCM or sternocleidomastoid muscles, which attach behind the ears to the sternum and clavicle, appear to me to be contracting…this particular set of muscles can act to turn the head to the side and to flex the neck. If she were dead and lying on the floor, I would not expect them to be active, however, I am not a pathologist so I defer to others to determine that.
She does have a “dead look” in her eyes, so I will agree to that. She really has no affect, no expression.
If the mugshot was taken at her initial arrest, I would expect that her anger that we saw during the initial arrest on the street, would perhaps be in evidence. The lack of any real emotional tells on her face, does tend to promote the idea that perhaps, she was not alive.
If the mugshot had been taken on the second day, I would believe PERHAPS some degree of depression had kicked in, replacing anger with despondency. But, that would beg the question of why would they wait til the 2nd day to take a mugshot. With a small town jail, it doesn’t seem that they would be so busy they would not have time to take a mugshot on the same day of the arrest. Some have claimed the mugshot has an “angry” look. I don’t see that. I see a vacant, flat affect look.
The actual booking sheet though, https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2178306/wcj-booking-documents.pdf contains one thing that we don’t see with the frontal mugshot. It has a profile
shot of Sandra, and this would have arguably been a little more difficult to produce on a dead person as far as getting a neutral head position (certainly not impossible,but it would have required more staging).
Of course, none of us knows for sure if she were alive or dead, but I tend to believe she was alive, even given the concerns and problems some have found with her booking photo(s). I don’t choose to believe this because the ghoulishness of taking her mugshot post mortem would be horrible, because I believe police do horrible things every day. I just have decided that based on the totality of the information I have on the situation. That said, I respect my Brothers and Sisters who have arrived at a different decision based on their review of the facts.
Thanks for reading.