While many questions still remain about what exactly happened to Sandra Bland in a Texas jail cell before she was found dead under mysterious circumstances on July 13, those looking for answers about why she was initially placed under arrest three days earlier were offered a look at devastating dash-cam footage released by the Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday evening which showed the arresting officer, Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia, actively escalating a situation with violence and threatening the unarmed black woman with a Taser.
The manner in which the escalation occurred led law enforcement officials to say that Encinia had not followed department procedures and failed to “maintain professionalism” during the arrest.
In one shocking moment, the officer tells Bland that if she does not get out of her car he will “light her up.” Subsequently, after she objects to having her head banged against the ground and telling him that she suffers from epilepsy, Encinia responds by saying, “Good.”
As the New York Times reports, several Texas lawmakers who were shown the footage said it is clear that Bland should never have been treated in such a manner nor ultimately taken into custody by police. “This young woman should be alive today,” said State Representative Helen Giddings, Democrat of Dallas.
According to the Times:
Watch the footage [Warning: Graphic and strong language]:
Mother Jones reports:
And Time magazine adds:
On Twitter, the reactions to what the newly released footage reveals about the arrest included expressions of outrage and confirmed for many that Bland should never have ended up in that jail cell in the first place: