After reviewing the dashcam footage of the arrest of Sandra Bland, Texas lawmakers confirmed Tuesday that she was “threatened” with a Taser during the traffic stop and that there was no probable cause for the 28-year-old’s arrest, NBC News reports.
“Once you see what occurred, you will probably agree with me that she shouldn’t have been taken into custody,” state Sen. Royce West said at a news conference held before the dash cam video was released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“DPS has been working closely with the family of Ms. Bland during this investigation, and the department extends our sincere condolences for their tragic loss,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a statement.
The 52-minute long dashcam video shows the events that led up to the traffic stop, which quickly turned violent after Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia asked Bland to put out her cigarette, in which she refused. Encinia ordered Bland to step out of the vehicle, attempting to snatch her out when she didn’t comply.
“You don’t have the right to do that,” Bland said, before stating that she’s calling her lawyer. “I refuse to talk to you other than to identify myself.”
At one point, Encinia threatened to use his Taser.
“I will light you up now,” he told her.
Bland then exited her vehicle upon the threat of being tased. Encinia proceeded to place the young community leader in cuffs as she repeatedly asked why she was being arrested. Encinia moved Bland from the view of the dashcam, but she can be heard crying out in pain and asking why she was being handled so aggressively.
Many have accused the department of editing the video, as certain scenes of cars or people passing by are cut or repeated. DPS spokesperson Tom Vinger said that he could not speculate on whether or not the footage had been altered.
“I will have to check in the morning. I can’t speculate without looking at the CD,” he said in regard to the original recording.
As reported last week, Sandra was found dead in her Waller County jail cell from an alleged suicide just three days after her arrest. Although authorities are yelling “suicide,” local D.A. Eton Mathis says that the case is being handled “like a murder investigation.”
As it should.
Watch the dashcam footage below (dialogue comes in at the 2:39 mark.)