Sandra Bland Filmed Her Own Traffic Stop And The Video Has Just Been Released
"I will light you up," a state trooper told Bland while pointing a stun gun at her. She died in police custody three days later.
Sandra Bland, whose death in police custody three days after being detained for a routine traffic stop in Texas highlighted issues of mistreatment of black people by white police officers, recorded her own arrest on her cellphone.
The newly released footage from July 10, 2015, shows a Texas state trooper telling Bland he will "drag" her out of the car as she questions why she is being apprehended.
State Trooper Brian Encinia then pulls out a stun gun and points it at Bland.
"And then you’re going to stun me?" asked Bland.
"I will light you up," he replied.
The 39-second video of the 2015 arrest was published Monday by an investigative news program on the news station WFAA, and is the first time Bland's video has been made public.
"Open up the case, period," her sister Shante Needham told WFAA after seeing the video for the first time.
Bland, 28, died in custody on July 13, 2015. Her death was ruled a suicide.
"[The video] not only shows that [Encinia] lied, but that he really had no business even stopping her, period,” said Needham. "And at the end of the day, he needs to go to jail."
The video shows that during the encounter, Encinia quickly became aggressive. Previously released footage recorded from the trooper's dashcam shows that Bland had refused to put out a cigarette.
“Why am I being apprehended? You just opened my car door," Bland tells the trooper.
“I’m going to drag you out of here,” Encinia replies.
“You’re threatening to drag me out of my own car?” Bland asks.
After he threatens to shoot her with the stun gun, Bland complies and gets out of her car.
"Wow. Wow. You’re doing all of this for a failure to signal?" she asks. "Let’s take this to court. Let’s do it. For a failure to signal?"
Encinia then tells her to get off her phone.
“I’m not on my phone. I have a right to record. This is my property," Bland says.
The trooper then orders her to put her phone down and the video ends.
Encinia was fired as a state trooper after Bland's death and indicted by a grand jury for perjury. However, the charge was later dropped after he agreed to never work in law enforcement again.