Sandra Bland’s independent autopsy completed as family reveal dash cam footage

Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland

A lawyer for the family of Sandra Bland has revealed that newly seen dash cam footage shows how the confrontation that led to her arrest began with a disagreement over a cigarette.

Bland was found dead at the Waller County Jail in Texas three days after she was pulled over for a traffic violation and taken into custody for allegedly being ‘uncooperative’, authorities said.

Police said three days later the 28-year-old hanged herself with a plastic bag, an account her family disputed and led them to order an independent autopsy – which was completed on Monday.

Results of the autopsy have not yet been released, according to CBS News.

The Texas Department of Public Safety claimed the state trooper who pulled Bland over on July 10 for failing to signal a lane change was being ‘argumentative and uncooperative’ and allegedly kicking an officer.

Cannon Lambert, the family’s lawyer, said there is no footage from the dash cam that shows Bland hitting an officer.

Lambert told NBC News that the video at first shows the trooper returning to Bland’s car after running her license and insurance with what appears to be a written warning.

He said the trooper can then be heard asking Bland to put out her cigarette, a request to which she responds, ‘Why do I have to put out a cigarette when I’m in my own car?’

‘That seemed to irritate him to the point where he said, “Get out of the car”‘, Lambert said.

Lambert said the trooper is then seen trying to ‘force her out of the car by way of opening the door’ and that Bland attempted to record him on her cell phone until she saw him pull out his Taser.

The attorney said Bland then complied with the trooper and exited the vehicle.

A video recorded by a bystander of Bland’s arrest shows at least one officer holding her to the ground outside by her car.

Bland can be heard on the film saying to one of the officers: ‘You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear.’

The Texas Department of Public Safety says the trooper who pulled Bland over violated traffic stop procedures and the department’s courtesy policy and has since been assigned to administrative duties.

The department also said Friday that the dash cam footage will be released as soon as possible.

Family and friends of Bland, who was from Naperville, Illinois, said she had just moved to Texas and was excited about starting a new job at Prairie View A&M University this month.

Some have pointed to a video Bland posted to her Facebook page in March, in which she discussed she was suffering from a ‘little bit of depression as well as PTSD’, as evidence to support the police’s claim about her death.

But LaVaughn Mosley, a mentor and friend, said it was merely Bland’s way of venting after a bad day and Bland’s sister said she did not suffer from any ‘medically diagnosed clinical depression’.

‘There are concerns regarding the findings already so we are doing our own due diligence,’ Lambert told NBC.

‘We want to understand what happened, we want to know what happened and we want to know why.’

Walter County District Attorney Elton Mathis said there were no cameras in Bland’s jail cell.

He added that no can be seen entering or exiting the cell between the time Bland last talked to deputies through an intercom system to when her body was discovered.

Waller County Jail has since been cited by the Texas Commission of Jail Standards for violating the rule that inmates must be observed face-to-face at least once per hour.

The jail was also cited for failing to train staff on how inmates who are mentally disabled or suicidal should be properly handled.

The Texas Rangers and the FBI are currently involved in the investigation.

Bland’s family has also asked the Department of Justice to step in.

Source: The DailyMail

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