On Friday, Texas lawmakers demanded answers from top law enforcement as to why a newly released cell phone video depicting the moments leading up to the unlawful arrest of Sandra Bland was not given to the family attorney during the discovery process of the civil case.
In May, a video taken from the vantage point of Bland emerged. The clip, which was obtained with the help of Investigative Network and aired on Dallas station WFAA, was said to have never been seen before, although law enforcement officials disagree.
According to NBC News, the differing takes on what transpired made for a “testy” hearing. Rep Garnet Coleman, who chairs the Legislature’s County Affairs Committee added that when he made requests for information about the case, the Texas Department of Public Safety claimed they dumped the related data to Bland’s case without mentioning the existence of the cellphone video.
Coleman used his opportunity during the hearing to once again ask for everything related to the case. As NBC reports, officials told the Democrat who sponsored a bill in Bland’s name to help detainees with mental illness, “You’ll have everything.”
The Department of Public safety maintains that they did not illegally withhold evidence. And a testifying official suggested instating a new policy that would require there be an index or table of contents when handing over evidence to avoid any oversight in the future.
Bland was just 28 when Trooper Brian Encina stopped her for failing to signal. Three days after arresting her and taking her to the county jail, Bland was found dead in her cell. Her death was later ruled a suicide.
Following her passing, Encina was charged with perjury during her criminal case. He later got off after agreeing to never work in law enforcement again. Though the lawsuits in the case have already been settled, Coleman told NBC, “I wish that he would have been prosecuted for more than just perjury after seeing that video.”Share :