Nearly four years ago, the controversial arrest and death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland ignited protest over race and police misconduct.
On Monday, newly released cellphone footage proved Sandra Bland was recording her 2015 Texas traffic stop, and now, the Bland family wants answers.
Three days after her arrest, Bland was found hanging in her cell, from what was ruled a suicide. Up until this point, the family and public have only seen one account of Bland’s traffic stop-dash cam footage from the arresting officer, Brian Encinia.
Now, through Bland’s point of view, family members say that the new video confirms that the case should be reopened.
“Open up the case. Period. That’s how I feel right now,” said Bland’s sister, Shante Needham. “We know they have an extremely, extremely good cover-up system.”
“This not only shows that he lied, but that he really had no business even stopping her, period. And at the end of the day, he needs to go to jail.”
According to CBS, Encinia originally said that he asked Bland to step out of the car because his “safety was in jeopardy.” Although he was already indicted on perjury for his account of what happened, he never mentioned that Bland recorded the arrest.
The WFAA and Investigative Network released the video to the public on Monday, but Texas authorities and the FBI apparently discovered Bland’s video two months after her death.
Attorney Cannon Lambert represented the Bland family in their $1.9 million legal settlement, and he said he had never seen the phone video before.
“That video shows he’s not in fear of his safety, she’s not reaching for anything,” Lambert said. “It’s already in her hand, and she’s recording him. That’s what that video shows.”
The Texas authorities and attorney general have declined to comment.
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For 4 years police and prosecutors tried to hide the fact that Sandra Bland filmed her own arrest. Today, thanks to journalists @wfaa this cell phone video of her arrest has finally been released and it shows everything we knew was true. Sandra never should’ve been arrested in the first place. She was literally pulling her car to the right to get out of the way for a speeding police car when he decided to pull her over for failure to use her turn signal. Again, she was getting over to get out of his way. Offended that Sandra Bland was so damn strong and smart and knew her rights, he then points this stun gun right in her face and says “I’ll light you up.” She knew he was wrong. At the most he should’ve given her a ticket and moved on. After her video ends, he brutally assaults her and injures her head. I’m as angry today as I was 4 years ago.