Getty Images News/Gabriella Demczuk

This Is Why The 'If I Die In Police Custody' Hashtag Keeps Showing Up In Your Timeline

'Ask every single question, #IfIDieInPoliceCustody,' activist DeRay McKesson says in a talk with MTV News.

There's still a lot of questions about what happened to Sandra Bland after she allegedly committed suicide in police custody in Texas last week. But not everyone is content to wait for the official word.

Some activists on Twitter sprung into action a day after Bland's July 11 death was reported and the revived the hashtag, #IfIDieInPoliceCustody, which has gained speed and resulted in a series of heartbreaking, thought-provoking responses to that thorny statement.

The originator was prominent WeTheProtesters.org cofounder and civil rights activist DeRay McKesson, who used it in reaction to the July 10 death of Tuscaloosa, Alabama's, Anthony Ware, 35, who died shortly after officers pepper-sprayed and handcuffed him.

"I wanted it to be really clear and for my intentions to be clear," McKesson told MTV News on Monday (July 20) about the creation of the hashtag, which he said some members of the black community in Alabama took issue with at first. "If I got killed in police custody, the response should be to question it, because there were some people [in Alabama] on Twitter saying there was no question about that one [Ware]. They surprised me."

Ware was killed when someone called 911 after he was reportedly spotted sitting on a porch while holding a gun; he had a warrant out for his arrest for previously trying to escape from police. Ware reportedly ran when he saw police and when officers emerged from the woods he was dead and no gun was found.

For McKesson, the statement turned into a hashtag that has morphed into a kind of living will stating the intentions of activists who want their voices to be heard before someone else speaks for them.

"Ask every single question," he said of the statement that spurred a number of responses after Ware's death -- and then spiked again following the rash of stories about Bland's case two days later.

Activists chanted the phrase when they appeared at Saturday's Netroots Nations town hall meeting with Democratic presidential candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders.

"This protest is because we've exhausted all other means," McKesson said. "This is a way of saying, 'I'll continue to fight if I die.' It's the responsibility of our collective community to keep fighting."

Here are a sampling of the some of the more poignant #IfIDie posts: