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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cell Phone Video Recorded by Sandra Bland During Arrest Comes to Light; Family Says Officials Withheld It

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2019 at 12:51 PM

click to enlarge SANDRA BLAND
  • Sandra Bland
Video recorded by Sandra Bland, who died in police custody in July 2015, has been released, offering a new vantage point on the controversial arrest.

Bland was pulled over in rural East Texas for failing to signal a lane change, arrested and died in jail three days later. Her death was ruled a suicide, though activists from the Black Lives Matter movement maintain her death was avoidable. The incident highlighted the outrage many feel about how white police officers interact with black people.

The footage, obtained by a Dallas' WFAA in partnership with the nonprofit Investigative Network, aired Monday night, providing a look at Bland's viewpoint for the first time since her arrest. With the release, Bland's family is arguing that the Texas Department of Public Safety purposely withheld the video, sparking questions about police misconduct and accountability.
click to enlarge After Sandra Bland stood up for her rights, activists argue this DPS officer threatened her with a Taser. - TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • After Sandra Bland stood up for her rights, activists argue this DPS officer threatened her with a Taser.
Officials with TDPS told the Washington Post that the clip was included in evidence, though an attorney representing Bland's family said he never saw it.

Bland's footage, which has been uploaded to YouTube, shows snippets of Texas state trooper Brian Encinia, who can be heard yelling phrases like "get out of the car" and "I will light you up!" Encinia was later fired and charged with perjury, though the charge was ultimately dropped. In exchange, Encinia agreed to never work as a police officer again.

In the video, Bland questions why Encinia threatened to use a Taser on her in a traffic stop over a turn signal. After the trooper demands that she put down her phone, she tells him, "I have a right to record."

You can watch the footage below.
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