Dashcam footage released by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows Sandra Bland being arrested by police but the 52 minute video appears to have been edited. Why? What are those three missing minutes hiding?
For those of you who are out of the loop, a 28-year old Chicago woman named Sandra Bland, died in custody after being arrested last week in Waller County, Texas after reportedly becoming combative with an officer who had allegedly pulled her over for failing to signal before changing lanes.
Bland died in custody on Monday, three days after her arrest, in what Waller County authorities claim was a successful suicide attempt. Authorities claim Bland hung herself with a trash bag, which the Huffington Post has followed up on. According to its investigation,
The Waller County Sheriff's office released documents filled out for Sandra Bland that indicate she'd previously attempted suicide after losing a baby. The papers also indicate Bland did not have suicidal thoughts at the time of her arrest and that neither the arresting officer nor anyone else at the jail believed she was at risk.
But the documents also contain discrepancies.
One questionnaire says Bland took pills in 2015 in an attempt to kill herself after losing the baby. A separate form filled out by another jail employee says the suicide attempt occurred in 2014. One form indicates Bland had suicidal thoughts within the past year, another says that's not the case.
Bland's friends and family say they're not buying the official story and are demanding answers.
"The Waller County Jail is trying to rule her death a suicide and Sandy would not have taken her own life," longtime friend LaNitra Dean told WLS. "Sandy was strong. Strong mentally and spiritually."
An Associated Press article says Bland's family and clergy members have called for a Justice Department probe, and ordered an independent autopsy.
Thanks to Mic.Com, we know how the inciting incident allegedly began. I say allegedly because even though part of it was caught on camera, the investigation into her death is still underway. At the present time, no one has been officially convicted of any wrongdoing in a court of law.
Here's what we know so far based on a combination between the dashcam video released by the Texas Department of Public Safety and an eye-witness video released to authorities.
- State trooper Brian Encinia pulls Bland over and orders her to step out of the car after she reportedly violates a traffic stop.
- Bland refuses multiple times and the altercation escalates. Encinia pulls out his taser and shouts, "Get out of the car. I will light you up."
- Bland is escorted to the curb while hurling expletives at the officer.
- Action moves off screen but audio is still being recorded.
- "You're about to break my wrist, stop! ... You're a real man now, you just slammed me, knocked my head into the ground, I got epilepsy, you motherfucker," Bland can be heard yelling.
- Sandra Bland dies in police custody after allegedly committing suicide.
Under pressure from Bland's family and the American public, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis announced Sandra's death would now be investigated as a murder.
"There are too many questions that still need to be resolved. Ms. Bland's family does make valid points that she did have a lot of things going on in her life that were good," he said.
Check out the video below. Notice the length of this video? The timecode shows it's 49:11 in length, but the original video had a total running time of 52:12. This means 3:01 are missing. Why?
Courtesy: Texas Department of Public Safety via YouTube
- The dashcam video released to the public of the violent arrest of Sandra Bland appears to be edited.
- A man leaves the truck in the center of the frame at 25:05. For the next 15 seconds, he walks toward the right of the frame and leaves. At 25:19, he suddenly appears again, promptly disappears, then returns at 25:22. The same footage of him walking is subsequently repeated.
- At 32:37, a white car drives into the left side of the frame, then promptly disappears in the middle of the road. Seconds later, the same car drives back into the frame and subsequently turns left. This footage is later looped several times.
- A different white car also drives into the left side of the frame and turns left from 32:49 to 32:59. The previous white car again briefly enters the frame at 33:04, and once more at 33:06, yet it suddenly disappears both times. When these cuts are made in the footage, the lights on top of the truck in the center of the frame also abruptly cut out.
- At 33:08, the exact same footage from 32:37 is repeated, followed by the same second white car at 33:17.
- Similar edits and loops are made throughout the video. It appears that someone cut footage out and looped part of the video in order to correspond with the recorded audio of Texas state trooper Brian Encinia speaking. Who exactly edited the footage is unknown, but the video was recorded by police and released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
In my opinion, the dashcam video only proves one thing. It proves police cameras won't do anything to stop police abuse.
What do you guys think about Sandra Bland's death? Do you think she committed suicide, or is her death a case of murder and attempted coverup?
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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