Police Custody Death of Sandra Bland – Too Much Law, Not Enough Justice

Sandra Bland was a well know spokesperson for ‘Black Lives Matter’ following the recent outrage about police brutality involving several African Americans. The video of her ‘routine traffic stop’ for ‘failure to signal when changing lanes’ has gone viral across the Internet following claims of her suicide while in police custody on Monday.   You can review the full video here:

As you can see from the video, this arrest should NEVER have happened. Sandra, while she may not have been absolutely polite, she was never rude or disrespectful to the officer until he became brutal towards her off camera.   One thing that stands out in my mind at the very beginning of the video is that Sandra states she changed lanes in the first place because the officer was following her and tailgating; that she only changed lanes to get out of his way.

According to information released to the family’s lawyer, Texas State Trooper Brian T. Encinia originally saw Sandra, made eye contact with her then made a U-turn to follow her. The Texas state patrol has declined to release the audio recording of radio traffic for the period prior to Sandra being pulled over. This appears to show that Encinia called in the license plates and KNEW who was driving the car.

Encinia approached Sandra with the intent to arrest her no matter what. He then created a situation which would allow him to do so.

When the officer asked a question, Sandra answered it. When the cop asked her to put her cigarette out (only a request) Sandra declined (as was her right to do so). The cop then demands Sandra get out of her car (which he had NO right to do), this demand was followed by threats from the officer, “I’m going to yank you out of the car”.

When Sandra told him he had no right to do that and backed away from him, the officer pulled out his tazer pointed at her point blank and said “Get out of the car or I will light you up”. At which point Sandra voluntarily complies and gets out of the vehicle walking peacefully where the officer tells her to go, off camera. We can continue to hear Sandra yelling and crying in pain as she is thrown to the ground and excessive force is used to arrest her.

Following the announcement of the death of Sandra Bland conspiracy theories came out of the woodwork. One of the original claims was the State Trooper drug her off camera to kill her at the scene of the traffic stop and Sandra was already dead in her mug shot.   The State Police have finally released the video footage of Sandra’s booking and a few other clips of her while she was in jail just to dispel that theory.

People are arguing about what happened after she was arrested. Police claim Sandra committed suicide in her jail cell by hanging herself with a plastic bag.   They also claim that they had a mental evaluation done, which showed she had attempted suicide before and was possibly depressed and unstable at that time (which IF true means they should have monitored her MUCH more closely). Even independent outside sources have stepped up to speak out against the claim Sandra killed herself, as we see here:

“Sandra Bland is unimpeachable. They won’t be able to vilify her as they have so many others. […] This young woman impressed me with her integrity. She was working to unite… not divide. She demonstrated grace and a steady level head. Sandra had just graduated from A&M, where she had gone on a scholarship. As far as her friends, chapter, alma mater, and family are concerned, suicide would be out of the question. She was a beautiful, talented and educated young woman. About to embark on a bright future with the job she had dreamed of.”

Full article by Lorie Meacham available here:  Justice For Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland’s sister, Sharron, speaks about the arrest of her sister and the following investigation with the family’s lawyer. The family’s lawyer addresses the claim that marijuana was in her system as “totally irrelevant in anyway to her arrest” and following death. Watch the whole interview here:

Sandra’s mother, Geneva, shares her daughter’s state of mind prior to her arrest saying Sandra was looking forward to her future and had found her purpose in life. She was going back to Texas to stop all the injustice against blacks. Geneva shared Sandra’s voicemail when she arrived in Texas just 4 days before her death. Listen to the voice mail and watch the whole 7 minute interview between Geneva and Al Sharpton and decide for yourself if Sandra was ‘suicidal’ or not.

But, since when is failure to signal a lane change an arrest-able offense? NONE of the video footage of her in jail, or testimony from a medical examiner means ANYTHING here. It seems that everyone is forgetting that an unlawful arrest is just that, unlawful.

IF someone is unlawfully detained and they die while being detained, it is FELONY MURDER period end of conversation. The prosecuting attorney that agreed to charge and hold Sandra on $5,000 bail, the officers who arrested her, and EVERYONE else involved are part of her death through their inaction and neglect behavior, in the very least they need to be charged with conspiracy to commit homicide.

The refusal to release the State audio files is withholding evidence in a criminal investigation (also a felony under Texas law). Yet the officers involved in Sandra’s illegal arrest are still being paid and the investigation of this whole incident is still in the hands of those who participated in the death of an innocent woman. Where is the justice for Sandra Bland?