Sandra Bland’s family is seeking to have her case reopened after a video, that Bland recorded herself, of her Texas traffic stop in 2015 was released on Monday night by Dallas TV station WFAA.
What We Know:
- Bland was pulled over for a minor traffic violation on July 10, 2015 by State Trooper Brian Encinia. The situation quickly escalated which resulted in her arrest. The 28-year-old was found hanged in her jail cell three days later and her death was ruled a suicide.
- In the 39-second video, Encinia orders Bland to get out of the car. After Bland asks the officer for reasoning, Encinia is seen drawing his Taser and pointing it at Bland while saying “I will light you up!”
- Neither Bland’s family nor their attorney, Cannon Lambert, has seen the video until now. Lambert said the video contradicts Encinia’s claim of feeling threatened by Bland.
- According to NPR, Lambert wrote an email to the Houston Public Media in regards to the video not being released early on the case. The agency responded saying that the video “is not newly discovered and has in no way been concealed by the department.”
- Bland’s sister Shante Needham, believes that the video was purposefully withheld from them, but the authorities have denied the allegation saying that it was actually released in 2017 and given to an Austin, TX television station under an open records request.
- Another attorney involved in the case, Shawn McDonald, told the New York Times that prosecutors saw the video three years ago but disputed the family’s claims against investigators.
Despite the ruling, the family settled a wrongful death suit against Waller County and Texas DPS in 2016 for $1.9 million. Encinia was charged for perjury but the charges were dropped in 2017 after agreeing to never work in law enforcement ever again.