The Texas Department of Public Safety released a dashboard video taken of the arrest of Sandra Bland from a police officer’s cruiser.
The Chicago-area woman was pulled over in Prairie View, Texas, during a routine traffic stop on July 10. After being held in the local jail for three days, she was found dead in her cell.
Officials say Bland hanged herself with a plastic garbage bag, but family members are disputing that.
The Bland case is the latest in a string of high-profile incidents around the country that have highlighted the strained relationship between the African-American community and local police.
Around two minutes into the 52-minute video, Bland changes lanes without signaling, and the police officer pulls her over. After several minutes while the officer sits in his cruiser, presumably going over paperwork, he returns to the vehicle to find Bland is upset.
“You seem very irritated,” he says. She responds by saying that she only changed lanes because she felt the officer was speeding up behind her.
The officer then asks Bland to put out her cigarette, and when she refuses, he orders her to step out of her car. When she refuses, he opens her car door and orders her repeatedly to step out, while she argues that she did nothing wrong.
The encounter soon turns physical.
“Step out or I will remove you,” he says repeatedly. “Get out of the car now, or I’m going to remove you. I’m going to yank you out of here.”
The officer can then be seen reaching into the car. It’s unclear exactly what happens inside the car but the two tussle, then the officer pulls out what appears to be a Taser and Bland leaves the car. The two continue arguing, with Bland shouting she “can’t wait until we go to court” and using salty language to insult the officer.
Several key moments happen off camera, such as when the officer puts handcuffs on Bland and when the two tussle again on the sidewalk.
As two other officers arrive on scene, the police officer tells them that Bland tried to yank away and then kicked him so he “took her straight to the ground.”
“Well one thing for sure it’s on video,” one of the other officers says.
You can watch the video here on YouTube. Caution: Contains offensive language.
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