Society

Dashcam Video Shows Texas State Trooper Threatening To Tase Sandra Bland

| by Michael Allen

Texas officials released a police dashcam video (below) today that shows state trooper Brian Encinia pulling over Sandra Bland for an improper lane change on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas.

In the video, Encinia asks Bland why she is irritated. Bland says she was trying to get out Encinia's way on the road, but he pulled her over.

Encinia asks Bland to put her cigarette out, but she refuses. Encinia then tells her to get out of the car, but Bland refuses. Encinia repeatedly yells at Bland to get out of her car, but doesn't tell her why. She continues to refuse.

Encinia tells Bland he is going to yank her out of the car, but she refuses and says she is not under arrest.

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Encinia suddenly informs Bland that she is under arrest, but won't tell her what the charge is.

Encinia tells Bland that he is going to drag her out of the car, points what appears to be a Taser at her and shouts, "Get out of the car! I will light you up! Get out! Now! Get out of the car!"

Bland gets out of the car and they walk off-camera where he is heard physically taking her down.

A previously released video (below) by a witness shows part of what happens next. Encinia appears to be on top of Bland who is on the ground.

Later, in the dashcam video after Bland has been taken away, Encinia tells another law enforcement official that he did not escalate the situation.

The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said today at a press conference that Encinia didn't "maintain professionalism" and has been placed on administrative duty, notes Mother Jones.

Bland died three days after being arrested in cell 95 at the Waller County jail. Officials claimed she was found hanging with a plastic bag around her neck, but her feet were touching the floor..

Bland reportedly asked to use a phone only one hour before her death.

Bland's death was declared a suicide in an initial report by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston, but Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said on Monday at a news conference:

This investigation is still being treated just as it would be a murder investigation. There are many questions being raised in Waller County, across the country and the world about this case. It needs a thorough review. It will go to a grand jury.

The Texas Rangers are heading the investigation into Bland's death, while the FBI is overseeing it.

Cannon Lambert, the Bland family attorney, has called for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the young woman's death.

According to The Los Angeles Times, a surveillance video was released on Monday that shows the hallway outside Bland's jail.

No one appears to go into Bland's jail cell between the time a jail employee checks on her at 7:17 a.m. and when her body is found at 9:07 a.m, however, the video doesn't show what happens between 7:18 to 7:24 a.m.

Mathis claimed that the video is activated by motion, which he claimed explained the missing time.

“At this point, we don't believe there was any editing. These have not been analyzed by the FBI yet,” Mathis said during a Monday press conference, notes the Los Angeles Times.

UPDATE: AlterNet.org notes that the dashcam video was edited in several places and looped. The video was released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

(Note: Encinia walks back to Bland's car after checking her I.D. at the 8:30 mark and the conflict begins soon after.)

Sources: Mother Jones, Los Angeles Times, AlterNet.org / Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot