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Sandra Bland at 28


In 1968, when I was twenty-eight years old, I suddenly heard a siren blare behind me. On my country road in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, it was a strange sound. Glancing in the rear view mirror, I saw a police car flashing red lights. Never imagining it had anything to do with me—a white, mostly law-abiding woman—I sped up. So did the screaming vehicle behind me. I continued to speed, trying to get out of its way.


Finally the patrol car drew parallel and then careened before me at an angle, forcing me to put my foot on the brake, hard. A cop strode to my window, looking grim. "License and registration please."

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