In a press conference on Monday, the district attorney presiding over the mysterious case of Sandra Bland’s death announced that he is pursuing the issue as a murder investigation. Videos from outside of Bland’s jail cell and from the dashboard of the cop car that had stopped Bland have been released as well, offering more details on Bland’s case. A grand jury is being pulled together to review and decide on Bland’s case by August.
According to the Waller County Sheriff’s Department, Bland had turned away breakfast at about 6:30 am on July 13, the same morning that she died. She also told a jailer making rounds that she was “fine” at about 7 am, only to later be found dead by a jailer shortly after 9 am. The moment that Bland was discovered dead in her cell can be seen in the security footage above. Medics tried and failed to revive Bland with CPR.
Yesterday, Cannon Lambert, the attorney for Sandra Bland’s family, described the details of the dashboard video during an appearance on the Roland Martin’s “NewsOne Now.” The encounter began with the officer approaching Bland’s vehicle from the passenger side. The officer obtained Bland’s license and registration, the returned to the vehicle 3-4 minutes later on the driver’s side and proceeding to ask Bland if something was wrong with her. According to Lambert, Bland responded, “Yeah, you stopped me and I was trying to get out of your way—you were coming up on me and I moved out of your way and you pulled me over.”
Lambert continued his description of the video saying, “The officer is irritated by the fact that after he asks her to put her cigarette out please, she said, ‘I don’t feel like I have to put my cigarette out, it’s my car—I’m in my car.’”
At this time, the officer asked Bland to get out of her car and opened Bland’s door. Bland said she didn’t want to get out of the car, and reached for her cell phone to record the incident. The officer then pulled out his taser, prompting Bland to exit the vehicle. Lambert denied seeing Bland strike the officer on the tape.
Sharon Cooper, who had not seen the dash cam video at the time of this broadcast, spoke on the last time she spoke with her sister two days before her death. The women were “debriefing” the fact that Bland was in custody as well as the traffic violation she had been accused of.
“She shared with us she was concerned about the nature of why she was pulled in,” Cooper said. “It had not been shared with her what she was being charged with until just before she called us and she made it clear to us that her bond had been set at $5,000. She needed $500, which we were working expeditiously to receive and that was the very last time that we heard anything from her.”
The coroner in Harris County, TX who conducted the initial autopsy on Bland ruled she died by self-inflicted asphyxiation in her jail cell. An independent autopsy was conducted in Houston; Lambert told Martin that he expects to hear preliminary results within the upcoming days.
Watch Martin, Lambert, Cooper and Texas State Sen. Rodney Ellis discuss the latest details of the case in the “NewsOne Now” video clip below.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.
Sandra Bland’s Case Being Treated As A Murder Investigation, New Videos Released was originally published on newsone.com