[Video] It Turns Out Sandra Bland Recorded The Traffic Stop Interaction That Lead To Her Suicide
Since 2015, there have been so many wrongful death killings of Black people by police that you may or may not remember the death of Sandra Bland.
The 28-year-old African American woman from Chicago made headlines after she was found hanging in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. At the time of her death, Bland was being detained at the jail in Texas and had been for three days. State Trooper Brian Encinia was the law enforcement officer who her during a traffic stop.
At the time, video of the arrested which was recorded by Encinia’s dashcam had been used by authorities to review the encounter. Now, new footage from Bland’s cellphone is prompting her family to renew an investigation into her arrest and death that occurred almost four years ago.
The video recorded by Bland surfaced Monday evening.
According to The New York Times, the Dallas television station WFAA has been conducting an investigative report which includes interviews with Bland’s family and friends as well as the victim’s cellphone-recoded account of the incident.
At the time of her death, Bland’s supporters, along with the public, have been aware that authorities had released video from Encinia’s dashcam. They were not, however, aware that Bland recorded the incident from the front seat of her car. According to the NYT, a lawyer who represents Bland’s family by the name of Cannon Lambert has said that her video undermines Encinia’s claims that he felt threatened by Bland when he first approached her car.
“What the video shows is that Encinia had no reason to be in fear of his safety,” Lambert told NYT in an interview. “The video shows that he wasn’t in fear of his safety. You could see that it was a cellphone, He was looking right at it.”
Encinia can be seen in her video angrily threatening bland with a stun gun as she sits in her car.
In the video captured by Bland, Encinia can be seen yelling at her angrily while pointing a stun gun in her face as she refuses to comply with his demands to exit her vehicle. At one point, as Encinia attempts to make an arrest and yells at Bland to step out of her car, he shouts “I will light you up! Get out! Now!”
Bland’s video refused Encinia’s claims he made during internal interviews with Department of Public Safety officials that he was worried about his safety.
“My safety was in jeopardy at more than one time,” he told department interviewers at the time.
It also disputes his claims during his country grand jury trial in 2015, for which Encinia was indicted on a charge of perjury. The charge was ultimately dismissed later by prosecutors in return for the trooper’s agreement that he would “never seek, accept or engage in employment in any capacity with law enforcement.”
News of the newly released footage has already enraged users online.
Users of color are also citing the footage as a reason to support justice for Bland.
And political figures are already calling for justice to be had.
Bland’s death ultimately unified African-American figureheads across the country and led to the Sandra Bland Act in 2017. The act requires training in de-escalation techniques for all police officers and requires that people with mental health issues be set up with protections while in custody. Here’s hoping the video footage sparks even more change and good.