Initial reports of Sandra Bland’s arrest claimed that the new Texas resident kicked an officer, causing her to be taken into custody. Newly-released dash cam footage paints a totally different picture.
In the video, a trooper identified as Brian Encina pulls Bland over for switching lanes without a signal. He then physically tries to pull Bland out of her car and threatens her with a Taser.
“I’m going to yank you out of here,” Encina can be heard saying in the video. “I’m going to drag you out of here.”
“Don’t touch me. I’m not under arrest,” Bland responds.
“I will light you up!” Encina replies, pointing the Taser at her.
Encina proceeds to pull Bland out of the car and arrest her even while she continuously asks why she is being arrested. He refuses to answer until he says she was not being compliant. Bland then says he is breaking her wrists and that she has epilepsy, to which he replies, “Good.”
In Encina’s arrest warrant, he says that he had Bland exit the vehicle to “further conduct a safe traffic investigation.”
“Bland was removed from the car but became more combative,” Encina wrote, noting that he handcuffed her for officer safety. “[She] began swinging her elbows at me and then kicked my right leg in the shin... Force was used to subdue Bland to the ground to which Bland continued to fight back.”
Bland was charged with assault on a public servant and taken to Waller County Jail, where she was later found dead. Authorities claim she hung herself with a plastic bag, but her family has requested an independent autopsy.
After releasing the video, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said that Bland’s death is currently being investigated as a homicide.
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