A dashcam video of 28-year-old Sandra Bland’s arrest has surfaced, and it’s upsetting. Bland was stopped by Texas trooper Brian Encinia for failing to signal a lane change, and died in police custody three days later.
During the encounter, Encinia asks Bland to put out her cigarette, and she refuses. The officer then demands she get out of the car, and opens the door with his taser drawn. They get out of camera view for a moment, and that’s when Encinia claims she assaulted him, but by the time the camera is back on the pair again, Encinia has Bland pinned face down, and you can hear the following conversation (Via CBS):
“You slammed my head into the ground, do you even care about that,” Bland is heard saying in the video. “I can’t even hear.”
“You question why in a routine traffic stop when the officer was going to write a warning, it was even necessary for her to get out, just give her the warning and let her go on her way,” said Cannon Lambert, the Bland family attorney.
Bland was found dead in her cell three days after her arrest, and the medical examiner has ruled it a suicide “by self-induced asphyxiation.” Bland’s relatives aren’t buying the story.
“My sister was someone who was full of life, who had so much to live for,” said Bland’s sister. “That’s why I think it’s unfathomable, based on the person I know.”
Surveillance video of the hallway outside Bland’s cell was also released. It shows Bland telling a deputy during a routine check at 7:05 a.m. that she was fine. At 7:55 a.m. Bland asks to make a phone call. No one is seen coming or going from her cell, but police say a deputy found her dead at 8:58 with a plastic trash bag around her neck, hanging from a privacy partition.
Authorities say the case is being treated like a murder investigation and that a grand jury will be selected as early as next month.