The Slatest

Sandra Bland Treated Improperly, Officials Say; Footage May Show Argument With Trooper

Protesters in Waller County, Texas, on July 17.

Screen shot/MSNBC

Officials believe the Waller County trooper who stopped Sandra Bland for a traffic violation and the jail staffers who handled her incarceration violated regulations regarding the treatment of motorists and the monitoring of inmates, reports say. An attorney for the Bland family, meanwhile, says dashboard camera footage of Bland’s arrest shows the trooper threatening her with a Taser at some point after she refused his request to put out her cigarette.

Bland was arrested in Texas on July 10 after allegedly failing to properly signal a lane change. She was found dead in her jail cell of an apparent hanging on July 13.

On the matter of jail standards, from the Houston Chronicle:

Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood said his agency found Waller County jail to be non-compliant with the two areas of the state’s minimum jail standards—one with staff training and one with observation of inmates.

“Inmates are required to be observed at least once every 60 minutes and the Waller County Jail did not perform that observation as required,” he said.

And regarding the behavior of the trooper who pulled her over, also from the Chronicle:

“In the preliminary review of the traffic stop that occurred in Prairie View on July 10, 2015, involving Sandra Bland, we have identified violations of the department’s procedures regarding traffic stops and the department’s courtesy policy,” [Texas Department of Public Safety] officials said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Bland was accused of kicking the officer who pulled her over after he ordered her out of her car. A Bland family attorney named Cannon Lambert told an outlet called News One that dash-cam footage shows Bland refusing to put out a cigarette and later being threatened with a Taser. She then appears to comply with the trooper’s request to get out of her car, Lambert said. The trooper in question, Brian Encinia, has been placed on administrative duty pending further investigation.

An independent autopsy was reportedly scheduled to be conducted on Bland on Sunday at the request of her family. The results of the independent autopsy and the footage of Bland’s arrest are both expected to be released to the public at some point in the near future.