The world was shaken in 2015 by the tragic death of Sandra Bland, a black woman who was found dead in a Waller County, Texas jail days after
The 40-second video (below) starts mid-altercation, after Trooper Brian Encinia had already pulled the 28-year-old Chicago-area woman over for a failure to signal near Prairie View A&M University. Showing the traffic stop from Bland’s perspective, the footage kicks off with Encinia having opened Bland’s door as he was ordering her to get out of the car.
Bland, who was in the driver’s seat, tried to steady her phone’s camera as she asked:
“Why am I being apprehended? You’re trying to give me a ticket for failure… why am I being apprehended? You just opened my car door… so, you’re just gonna drag me out of my own car?”
This line of questioning prompted Encinia to draw out his stun gun and stick it right in Bland’s face as he shouted:
“Get out of the car! I will light you up. Get out!”
Bland then proceeded to exit the car while making sure to keep recording the trooper as he ordered her onto the sidewalk, all while keeping his stun gun pointed at her. After he instructed her to get off the phone, Bland replied:
“I’m not on the phone. I have a right to record. This is my property.”
The video ends seconds later, after Encinia told bland to put the phone down. See it all for yourself (below):
Local authorities kept this cell phone video from Sandra Bland a secret for 4 years. Local journalists
Encina went on to be fired and charged with perjury, though the charge was later dismissed. He previously said he came to fear for his safety after stopping Bland due to suspicious gestures he claimed she was making.
The unearthed video has raised some fresh questions about the official misconduct in the case that has already sparked nationwide outrage. The Bland family’s attorney, Cannon Lambert, said he never saw the clip until it was recently shared by a reporter. He said of the new footage:
“The video makes it abundantly clear there was nothing she was doing in that car that put him at risk at all.”
Now, after seeing the footage for the first time, the family is calling for is calling for a re-opening of the criminal investigation into Bland’s arrest and death.
People on Twitter were just as outraged, with many expressing disappointment and dismay that it took four years for Bland’s side of the encounter to be revealed to the public:
"I'll light you up," the officer says as he arms his stun gun and sticks it right in Sandra Bland's face after she…forgot to use her turn signal when she literally just tried to get out of the way for his speeding police car.
This whole ordeal was about white power. https://t.co/VVS3BSGYPB
— Shaun King (@shaunking) May 7, 2019
Authorities want us to believe Sandra Bland killed herself in jail due to minor traffic infraction. This woman was ready to fight them in court. https://t.co/D4o8PrMnBr
— FERRARI SHEPPARD (@stopbeingfamous) May 7, 2019
This is evil. Sandra Bland was set up to die from the moment she was stopped. https://t.co/o15ipYBjiS
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) May 7, 2019
The woman who said Emmett Till came onto her lied about what he said. The officer who killed Oscar Grant lied about what he did. The police withheld video of Sandra Bland that tells a different story.
There’s a long history of black ppl being killed based on someone else’s lie.
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) May 7, 2019
But officials insist that Bland’s recording was never withheld from being viewed. A rep for the Texas Department of Public Safety told press that Bland’s cell phone video was known to all parties at the time, and was included as part of a large hard drive of evidence from the investigation.
The department also said the footage had been publicly released in 2017, when it was given to an Austin television station under open records law.
Yet, somehow, Bland’s family is just now seeing it for the first time. Watch a clip (below) from the family’s Monday night sit down with Investigative Network, a nonprofit news organization in Texas, to see how they react.
[Image via WFAA]
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