Sandra Bland's Own Cellphone Video Of 2015 Texas Traffic Stop Surfaces
Her family, as well as attorneys representing the family, say they’ve never seen the footage.
Sandra Bland‘s family wants her criminal investigation reopened after a video Bland took during her 2015 traffic stop recently surfaced.
The video, which Bland took on her cell phone, shows Bland being confronted by Texas State trooper Brian Encinia on July 13, 2015. Encinia is yelling at Bland to get out of the car while Bland calmly asks why she has been stopped.
“You just opened my car door…so you threatening to drag me out of my own car?” Bland can be heard saying. At one point the 40-second clip shows Encinia drawing his taser and threatening to use it on Bland.
“Get out of the car. I will light you up! Now,” Encinia yells.
Before the clip ends, Encinia can be heard telling Bland to “get off the phone.” Bland responds by saying she’s not on the phone and has the right to record.
The video, which was in possession of investigators, was obtained and released by WFAA and the Investigative Network. The Investigative Network received the footage once Blands criminal investigation was closed.
Following the surfacing of the footage, Bland’s family has requested that her case be reopened.
However, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) claimed that the video was not withheld from the family.
“The premise that the video was not produced as a part of the discovery process is wrong,” DPS said in a statement. “A hard drive containing copies of 820 Gigabytes of data compiled by DPS from its investigation, including the dashcam videos, jail video footage and data from Sandra Bland’s cell phone, was part of discovery.”
Cannon Lambert, an attorney for Bland’s family, said that the video wasn’t a part of the discovery. He also said the footage proves Encenia knew that Bland wasn’t a threat to him.
“He sees exactly what’s in her hand,” Lambert said of the video. “How can you tell me you don’t know what’s in her hand when you’re looking right dead at it. What did she do to make him feel his safety was in jeopardy? Nothing.”
State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) offered a response to the footage, saying that he would look into why Bland’s family never saw the video.
Bland was found dead in her Waller County jail cell three days after her arrest. Her death was ruled a suicide. Encenia was fired from his job and charged with perjury. The charge was dropped after he gave up his license and vowed never to work as an officer again.