By Jennifer Baker
Jul 22, 2015
Police dashboard camera video released on Tuesday shows no evidence that Sandra Bland assaulted her arresting officer or [was given] any reason for her arrest on July 10 after she was pulled over in Waller County, Texas.
Bland was charged with assaulting a public servant after a Texas Department of Public Safety officer named Brian Encinia pulled her over for allegedly improperly signaling to change lanes.
In the video, that begins with an unrelated stop, Sandra Bland is first seen driving by Encinia in the opposite direction around 1 minute into the video. Encinia does a U-turn in the middle of an intersection and begins to follow Sandra’s vehicle. A minute later the traffic stop begins.
When Encinia returns with the warning ticket to Ms Bland’s vehicle he can be heard saying “you seem irritated.” Ms Bland replies I am and proceeds to explain that she felt Encinia sped up behind her and the reason for her lane change was to get out of his way, stating that it was irritating to be pulled over for not signaling a lane change in those circumstances.
Ms Bland was also recording her own arrest during this time. It is at this point that Encinia’s demeanor changes and asks for Ms Blands cigarette to be put out. When she tells Encinia that it’s her car and her cigarette, he begins to demand that she get out of the vehicle. It is unclear why he would escalate the situation from a warning ticket by demanding she exit the vehicle. Immediately opening her drivers door, Encinia begins threatening force, giving Ms Bland the command “step out or I will remove you”. Which then turns to “I’m going to yank you out,” then drawing his taser and reaching his arm inside the vehicle to get the aimed weapon closer for some reason, he yells “I Will Light You Up”.
During this part of the encounter, Ms Bland is stating that Encinia has no reason to make her get out of the car, that she had done nothing wrong and is not under arrest. She exits the vehicle with the taser aimed at her and her phone (most likely still recording) still in hand.
Encinia handcuffs Ms Bland and justifiably Ms Bland is upset and telling the officer how out of line his behavior is. At times asking Encinia if he felt good about himself for treating her that way. Ms Bland complained that her cuffs were so tight that he was breaking her wrists several times before the take down that slams her head into the ground takes place just off camera. The second video, recorded by a bystander picks up moments after. (below)
Encinia filed a report saying Bland had kicked him and he had “pain in my right leg.” Encinia never cries out in pain during the video. Sandra Bland was arrested for assaulting a public servant booked into Waller County Jail on Friday the 10th. On Monday tragically Ms Bland was found dead in her jail cell.
Dashcam arrest video was edited
As the website BenNorton points out: A man leaves the truck in the center side of the frame at 25:05. For the next 15 seconds, he walks out of the frame. At 25:19, he suddenly appears again, promptly disappears, then returns at 25:22. The same footage of him walking is subsequently repeated.
This is not the only part of the video that was edited.
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 footage 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 later in the video.
Someone clearly cut footage out and looped part of the video in order to correspond with the recorded audio of Texas state trooper Brian Encinia who at the time is speaking on his phone to a superior about the arrest. Who exactly edited the footage is unknown, but the video was recorded by police and released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.