Dashcam Video Released of Sandra Bland's Arrest; Officials Meet With Bland's family - NBC Chicago
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Dashcam Video Released of Sandra Bland's Arrest; Officials Meet With Bland's family

Affidavit also released; Waller County officials meet with members of Bland's family

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    Officials released Texas Department of Public Safety dashcam video of Sandra Bland's traffic stop and arrest. (Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015)

    A group of Texas and Waller County officials met Tuesday about the death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland while under custody in the Waller County Jail, on the same day dashcam video of her arrest was released.

    Police released video of the incident Tuesday afternoon that shows how quickly the traffic stop that led to her arrest escalated.

    Bland, who was pulled over for an improper lane change, refuses to put out her cigarette. The officer becomes agitated, asks her to step out of her vehicle. When she refused his request he is heard saying, "Get out of the car! I will light you up." See the video in its entirety below.

    WARNING:The video above may be disturbing to some and contains foul language.

    The same day the video was released, state officials addressed the ongoing investigation.

    State Sen. Royce West emphasized in a press conference after meeting with authorities that the investigation into Bland's death would be transparent and thorough. Just last week, West asked the Texas Department of Public Safety to release any video related to the case.

    "We will be patient to allow the process to work itself out – but it will be transparent," West said at Prairie View A&M University. "We're going to be watching every step of the way to make sure that the job will be done correctly."

    Authorities have said Bland committed suicide by hanging herself in her cell days after she was arrested, but her family disputes the account.

    The officials have asked the Waller County District Attorney to ensure the grand jury that investigates Bland's death be "ethnically diverse," West said, so that its ruling can't be considered biased or a "whitewash." They also asked the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice to investigate as well.

    West said Bland should still be alive today based on his interpretation of the dashcam video.

    The officer who arrested Bland is no longer on street duty, and is doing administrative work, according to Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw.

    Meanwhile, the Waller County sheriff's office has acknowledged in the aftermath of Bland's death that it violated state rules dictating personnel training and the monitoring of inmates.

    Raw Video: Waller Co. Jail Surveillance VideoRaw Video: Waller Co. Jail Surveillance Video

    Video from the Waller County jail released Monday, according to sheriff's department officials, shows no activity in the hallway leading to Sandra Bland's cell for about 90 minutes until an officer goes to check on her, looks through a window, makes a "frantic call to the (jail) controller," and runs back to the jail main area to summon help, Capt. Brian Cantrell, head of the sheriff's department criminal investigation division, said.
    (Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015)

    The Texas Commission on Jail Standards last week cited the county jail for not providing documents proving that jailers in the past year had undergone training on interacting with inmates who are mentally disabled or potentially suicidal.

    The citation also shows jailers fell short by not observing inmates in-person at least once every hour. The sheriff's office in a statement Friday said jailers checked on Bland via intercom on one occasion rather than in person.

    Commission Executive Director Brandon Wood has declined to say if the citation is related to Bland's death. But sheriff's officials mention her when explaining the violations, noting that they don't believe "either one of these deficiencies had any part in the death of Ms. Bland."

    The Texas trooper who pulled Sandra Bland over for a failing to signal a lane change said in an affidavit that after handcuffing her for becoming combative, she swung her elbows at him and kicked him in his right shin.

    RAW: Officials Discuss Jailhouse Video in Sandra Bland DeathRAW: Officials Discuss Jailhouse Video in Sandra Bland Death

    Video from the Waller County Jail where Sandra Bland was found hanged was expected to be released Monday night, and dashboard camera footage from the traffic stop that led to her arrest will be released Tuesday, officials said.
    (Published Monday, July 20, 2015)

    In the affidavit released Tuesday, trooper Brian Encinia said he then used force "to subdue Bland to the ground," and she continued to fight back. He arrested her for assault on a public servant. (Read the affidavit in its entirety at the bottom of this story.)

    Bland was taken to the Waller County Jail on July 10. She was found dead in her cell July 13.

    The officials at Tuesday's press conference acknowledged that people across America were paying attention to the investigation, and seemed to cast it against other investigations into the deaths of civilians at the hands of law enforcement officials.

    "We know what's going on in America," West said. Another state senator, Sylvester Turner, said that black lives matter, echoing the anti-police brutality movement.

    But they all insisted that the public should have faith in the criminal justice system.

    "There's a rush to judgment too often in America," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said. "Here in Texas I can tell you we believe in total transparency and we will find the truth, whatever it is."

    Asked if he, like West, believed Bland should still be alive today, Patrick deferred to the ongoing investigation.

    Texas authorities said last week that the trooper violated procedures and the department's courtesy policy during the traffic stop and was placed on administrative leave.

    State records show Encinia has been a trooper for the Texas Department of Public Safety for just over a year.

    The Waller County prosecutor, meanwhile, has called for a "thorough review" of the case, saying it's too soon to rule her death a suicide.

    Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said at a news conference Monday that a Texas Rangers investigation into Bland's death is "being treated just as it would be in a murder investigation."

    He said it's too soon to "make any kind of determination" about whether her death was a suicide.

    Mathis said the case will go to a grand jury once the investigation is complete.

    Mathis reiterated his statement in a meeting with Bland's family and the family lawyer that the investigation into Bland's death will be treated no differently from a murder investigation, according to a statement from Waller County Judge Carbett J. Duhon III released Tuesday afternoon.

    At the private hour-long meeting Tuesday morning, Duhon said that Bland's sister and mother said many questions about the death remained unanswered and that Duhon and Ellis assured the family that "everything will be provided to them so that they can get those answers." Duhon is the chief administrator in Waller County.

    Here is Texas trooper Brian Encinia's affidavit: