Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dubious arrest of defiant black woman

Defying cops is never smart for anyone. It just makes your situation worse. Sadly, many blacks fail to be civil and co-operative in dealings with police -- due in part to constant assertions from the Left and black leaders which demonize the police. It's a vicious circle and a self-fulfilling prophecy

ALMOST two weeks after Sandra Bland was found dead in her jail cell, Texas authorities have released footage of her arrest and it doesn’t look good.

Despite a medical examiner ruling that her death was suicide, the 28-year-old’s family and friends believe something else happened to the anti-racism activist during those three days.

And the video, which shows the roadside encounter escalate into a shouting confrontation, may add to their suspicions.

The video, posted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, shows the trooper stopping Bland for failure to signal a lane change.

The dashboard footage shows the state trooper trying to pull Ms Bland out of the vehicle, then drawing his stun gun and saying "I will light you up" after she refuses to follow his order.

After he hands her a written warning the trooper remarks that Bland seems irritated. The Illinois woman replies that she is irritated because she had changed lanes to make way for the trooper’s car.

The conversation quickly turns hostile when the officer asks Bland to put out her cigarette and she asks why she can’t smoke in her own car.

The trooper then orders Bland to get out of the vehicle. She refuses, and he tells her she is under arrest.

Further refusals to get out bring a threat from the trooper to drag her out.

Bland was taken to the Waller County Jail that day

Days later Ms Bland was found dead in a jail cell. Authorities said she hung herself with a plastic garbage bag.

However her family dispute the "spontaneous" and "outgoing" woman would have taken her life.

The day she was arrested she was on her way to a job interview with her former university, Prairie View A & M University.

Ms Bland’s sister Sharon Cooper told reporters in the days after her death that people who "knew her, truly knew her", know that suicide is "unfathomable right now". "Based on the Sandy I knew, this is unfathomable to me," Ms Cooper said.

"She was someone who was extremely spontaneous, spunky, outgoing, truly filled with life and joy. So when you think through the circumstances shared with us through this point, this is unimaginable."

Ms Bland was reportedly fighting internal demons. According to CNN, the 28-year-old suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as recently as March. She addressed her mental health struggles in videos posted online.

In other videos, she addressed the issue of racism.

Before being jailed, Ms Bland used her voice to encourage others to support the Black Lives Matter movement that took hold following the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

What exactly happened to Ms Bland has also resonated on social media, with posts questioning the official account and featuring the hashtags #JusticeForSandy and #WhatHappenedToSandyBland.

Others referred to #SandySpeaks, the hashtag #Bland used in monologues she posted on Facebook in which she talked about police brutality and said she had a calling from God to speak out against racism and injustice.

The trooper said in an affidavit that after handcuffing Ms Bland for becoming combative, she swung her elbows at him and kicked him in his right shin.

In the affidavit released Tuesday, trooper Brian Encinia said he then used force "to subdue Bland to the ground," and that she continued to fight back. He arrested her for assault on a public servant.

The trooper has been placed on administrative leave for violating unspecified police procedures and the Department of Public Safety’s courtesy policy.

The agency would not address questions about whether the trooper acted appropriately by drawing his stun gun or pulling her out of the vehicle.

"Regardless of the situation, it doesn’t matter where it happens, a DPS state trooper has got an obligation to exhibit professionalism and be courteous ... and that wasn’t the case in this situation," said Steven McCraw, the department director.

Bland was taken to the Waller County Jail about 100 kilometres north west of Houston on July 10 and found dead July 13.

A Texas Rangers investigation into her death is being supervised by the FBI.

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards last week cited the jail for not providing documents proving that jailers in the past year had undergone training on interacting with inmates who are mentally disabled or potentially suicidal.

The citation also showed that jailers fell short by not observing inmates in person at least once every hour.

The sheriff’s office said Friday in a statement that jailers checked on Bland via an intercom on one occasion rather than in person.

Commission Executive Director Brandon Wood has declined to say if the citation is related to Bland’s death.

But sheriff’s officials mentioned her when explaining the violations, noting that they don’t believe "either one of these deficiencies had any part in the death of Ms. Bland."

Original report here

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