28 year old Chicago native and activist Sandra Bland is dead. At this point, that’s one of the only facts regarding this case that we have. Why she was arrested, and why and how she died are still up for debate.
In case you haven’t heard of the case of Sandra Bland, let me catch you up really quickly. On July 13th, Sandra Bland was found dead in a jail cell in Walter County, Texas. Prior to this, she had been arrested by Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia. After sitting int he jail cell for three days, she was found by officers on the morning of July 13th.
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to watch the Dashcam video footage that was recorded during the arrest. The video shows Sandra being forced to get out of her car by the trooper after being threatened with a taser. “I’ll light you up!” he screamed as she was pulled from her vehicle.
During the events that followed, Bland tries to record the trooper with her cell phone. He tells her to put it down. He tells her over and over again that she’s being arrested and going to prison and she repeatedly screamed back asking why to which she received no response other than it could have just been a warning.
After sitting in a jail cell for three days, she’s then found dead under suspicious circumstances. The story told to the public from the Walter County Police Department says that Sandra was found in a semi standing position, apparently the victim of suicide. The motion-activated camera located outside of her cell shows no recording from 7:34AM until 9:07AM, which would have been the time that she committed the alleged suicide.
I don’t know what happened in the cell on the day Sandra Bland died. I do know that I’m tired of feeling that we as black people can’t really do anything involving police officers without fear that we won’t make it out alive. I don’t like the feeling that me or someone I know could be the next Sandra Bland because we didn’t appease the ego of some state trooper. Did you know that Bland was arrested because the officer told her to put out her cigarette and she refused? A fucking cigarette, man.
I watched that Dashcam video and heard the real fear that she had when she was dealing with the officer. She screamed that he was going to break her wrist and he kept going. She said that he had banged her head on the ground and she had epilepsy and he responded by saying good. What kind of fucked up do you have to be? You are a male police officer dealing with a woman and you can’t even be respectful or not use all that force? Fuck you.
Something has to give. Something has to change.