Geneva Reed-Veal, of Illinois, said at a memorial service that her 28-year-old daughter had said she found her purpose in the world when she returned to her alma mater, Prairie View A&M to take a dream job. Just days after Bland moved to Texas, she was stopped by State Trooper Brian Encinia for failing to signal a lane change and then charged with assaulting Encinia after a heated traffic stop caught on dashcam video.
On the morning of June 13, three days after Bland’s arrest, she was found dead in her jail cell. Officials say it appears Bland committed suicide, but her death is being investigated as a homicide until all facts are made available. Questions about her death were raised by her family and friends and spread quickly on social media leading to guarantees from state and local officials that a thorough investigation will be completed.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Reed-Veal Went on a Road Trip With Bland Shortly Before Her Death
Reed-Veal and Bland took a road trip together to Memphis before her daughter moved there from their home state of Illinois to start her new job at Prairie View A&M. Bland posted a photo on Facebook on July 3 showing them in the car together.
“We had had a strained relationship,” Reed-Veal said, according to the Houston Chronicle. She said the two loved each other and on the roadtrip, “we were able to clear up every issue.”
2. ‘Once I Put My Baby in the Ground, I’m Ready … This Means War’
— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) July 22, 2015
At a memorial service on Tuesday, Reed-Veal said, “Once I put this baby in the ground,” said Bland’s mother, “I’m ready … this means war.”
Reed-Veal spoke about how her daughter was fighting for social justice and said Bland told her after she got the job, “Now I know what my purpose is. My purpose is to go back to Texas. My purpose is to stop all social injustice in the south.’”
3. She Met With Officials Investigating Her Daughter’s Death
Reed-Veal, Bland’s sister and the family’s attorney met with the Waller County Judge Trey Duhon and District Attorney Elton Mathis on Tuesday to discuss the case. They met for about an hour and the officials expressed their sorrow for Bland’s death, according to a press release from the county.
“It was a very positive meeting. The family expressed some of their concerns and the fact that they still have many questions that need to be answered, and both Mr. Mathis and myself told them that we understood that, and we assured the family that everything will be provided to them so they can get those answers,” Duhon said in a statement.
4. She Owns a Real Estate Investment Company in Illinois
Reed-Veal, a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and Northern Illinois University, owns a real state investment company in Illinois.
5. Video Showing the Traffic Stop That Led to Her Daughter’s Arrest Was Released on Tuesday
Video showing the traffic stop that led to Bland’s arrest was released to the public on Tuesday. Watch it above.