Oh my god.
I tell you what, one thing I will cop to is putting off stories I know are going to be unpleasant to explore. I do that. So it’s only just now that I started to watch the video of Sandra Bland’s arrest and jesus christ. I’m only 2.18 minutes in and I’ve stopped because it’s hard to take.
The cop simply loses his fucking temper because Bland has the gall to talk back to him.
He picks a fight from the outset, going up to her car window and after a few seconds saying “You seem a little irritated.” She says she is irritated, since all she did was get out of his way. He tells her to put out her cigarette, and she says she’s in her own car and she doesn’t have to. He tells her to get out, she says no, he flings the door open and keeps escalating his orders to get out of the car, and then he pulls his stun gun and sticks it in her face.
It’s horrifying. It’s a traffic stop and he pulls his god damn stun gun on her because he’s in a snit.
I wouldn’t put anything past them after that.
Representatives of Sandra Bland’s family said on Wednesday that a dashboard camera video of her arrest, three days before she died in a Texas jail, showed an overzealous state trooper who had no reason to resort to force or to arrest her.
The video released on Tuesday showed a confrontation between Ms. Bland, 28, and a state trooper, Brian T. Encinia, that quickly escalated from why she had been pulled over, to whether she should extinguish her cigarette, to whether she had to get out of her car, until the trooper drew a stun gun and threatened, “I will light you up.” After she exited the car, out of view of the camera, a scuffle and yelling can be heard, including Ms. Bland saying that the trooper had slammed her to the ground.
I stopped the video after they stepped out of view. I don’t want to watch the rest, but I will.
The family’s lawyer, Cannon Lambert, cast doubt on the conclusion that Ms. Bland’s death was a suicide. Primarily, he and Ms. Cooper pointed to the video as vindication for their claim that a minor traffic stop in Hempstead, Tex., northwest of Houston, should never have landed her in jail.
“Right out of the gate, you see from that dashcam that this could have been easily avoided,” Mr. Lambert said. “There was very little reason that can be gleaned from the dashcam why Sandy had to be asked to put the cigarette out, why Sandy had to be asked to get out of the car, why Sandy had to be subject to having the officer point a Taser at her, why Sandy had to be thrown to the ground and hurt.”
The only reason there was, apparently, was that the cop wanted deference and humility instead of irritation, and he didn’t get it. So he arrested her – for nothing.
It’s as if the cops get to go around testing our obedience whenever they feel like it. They don’t. They don’t get to issue us orders to see if we’ll obey and then arrest us if we don’t. Sandra Bland wasn’t doing anything – just DWB.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said on Friday that Trooper Encinia did not follow a policy requiring troopers, in dealing with the public, to be professional and courteous, and to explain what is going to happen. He has been placed on desk duty.
He should be placed on unemployed duty.
But Sandra Bland is still dead.