Nearly four years ago, Sandra Bland was pulled over and arrested by a Texas state trooper before being found dead in a jail cell three days later. On Monday, the Investigation Network released a video clip captured on the victim’s cellphone.
In the 39-second clip, Bland is heard telling Trooper Brian Encinia that she has a “right” to record and questioning why she being apprehended for a “failure to signal.”
Bland’s death was ruled a suicide, but its occurrence brought about more national outcry in regard to the overpolicing of Black men and women.
According to The New York Times, dashcam footage from the controversial arrest was released days after the incident. Both the footage from the cop car and Bland’s video were reportedly used during the investigation and provided to her family. However, the family’s former lawyer said the state never turned over the video.
As a result of the new clip, there are calls to have the case reopened including from Bland’s sister, Shante Needham, who told Dallas’ WFAA TV station, “Open up the case period.”
Bland’s perspective contrasts the details provided by the arresting officer, who said he was scared. He can be heard on the cameraphone audio telling the victim, “I will light you up!”
“What the video shows is that Encinia had no reason to be in fear of his safety,” Cannon Lambert, the family’s former lawyer told the NYT. “The video shows that he wasn’t in fear of his safety. You could see that it was a cellphone, He was looking right at it.”
Watch the newly released video below.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.