POLITICS
10/15/2015 07:54 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2015

Bernie Sanders Met Sandra Bland's Mom And Didn't Tell Anyone

"He simply made space for a sacred moment, and then let it pass without trying to gain anything from it."
Daija Belcher, 5, holds a #SayHerName sign during the funeral service for Sandra Bland on July 25, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois. (
Jonathan Gibby via Getty Images
Daija Belcher, 5, holds a #SayHerName sign during the funeral service for Sandra Bland on July 25, 2015 in Lisle, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images)

Remember the time Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met with Sandra Bland's mother and shamelessly used it for political capital?

Neither do we, because -- though the Democratic presidential candidate apparently did meet Geneva Reed-Veal -- he didn't tell anyone about it. He did, however, promise to #SayHerName, which he did Tuesday during the first Democratic presidential debate.

The tale of Sanders' chance encounter with Reed-Veal comes via the Rev. Hannah Bonner, who bumped into Sanders at Union Station in Washington last week while she was eating with Reed-Veal, and invited the presidential candidate to join their table.

Bonner wrote in her blog recalling the meeting that she "was completely blown away by the unexpectedness of it all, the sacredness of the moment, and the sincerity of all involved."

Bonner wrote that after they talked: 

We asked Senator Sanders if we could take a picture with him and he consented. He did not impose upon Ms. Geneva to ask for a picture of his own. He did not use the moment as an opportunity to promote his campaign. He took no record, he made no statement. He did not try to turn it into a publicity stunt. He simply made space for a sacred moment, and then let it pass without trying to gain anything from it. 

For that, I respect him. For that, I am grateful. That choice may not have made him a very good politician, but it made him a better man.

Bonner shared the photo with The Huffington Post on Tuesday as proof of the meeting:

The family of Sandra Bland met with Bernie Sanders on Oct. 13, 2015.
Hannah Adair Bonner
The family of Sandra Bland met with Bernie Sanders on Oct. 13, 2015.

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