Over 3,200 Color Of Change members donated to fund a journalistic investigation into the Waller County officials handling the investigation of the death Sandra Bland. The findings of this investigation were published on the Huffington Post.
The investigation revealed corruption in Waller County that puts Bland's investigation at risk.
Sheriff Glenn Smith, who had been fired from a previous job after allegations of racism and police brutality, appointed lawyer Paul Looney to lead the "independent" investigation into Bland's death.
But from the beginning, Looney's investigation was beset by a conflict of interest: His law firm had a financial relationship with Carbett "Trey" Duhon III, Waller County's top elected official -- and the man who'd likely have to write the Bland family a large check out of county funds if that inquiry turned up wrongdoing. (Duhon, who referred clients to Looney in exchange for a monthly retainer, has since severed that relationship.) Now, despite Waller County officials' vows, Looney says his panel isn't looking for possible wrongdoing at all and is simply compiling recommendations that Smith can "throw in the trash" if he chooses."I am not looking forward to sharing this information with the Reed-Veal and Sandra Bland family at all. I am dreading this conversation. It's stunning." said Cannon Lambert, a Bland family attorney, when informed about Looney's comments.
Along with the apparent conflict of interest, there is no deadline for Looney's panel to finish its investigation. Many have begun to call on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate civil rights violations in the case.