Texas officials have released the dash cam video capturing Sandra Bland’s arrest, which occurred three days before she was found dead in her jail cell.
Sandra Bland, 28, was arrested on Friday, July 10 after a routine traffic stop. She was taken to Waller County Jail, and on Monday, July 13, she was found hanging by a trash bag in her cell. It was ruled a suicide by officials, but her family suspects otherwise.
Newly released dash cam footage shows Officer Brian Encinia approaching Bland’s vehicle and asking for her license and registration before returning to his car. Encinia goes back to Bland’s car, and ask her to put her cigarette out. When Bland refuses, Encinia demands that Bland exit the vehicle, yelling “I’m going to drag you out of here,” and “Get out of the car. I will light you up,” referring to his drawn Taser. Once Bland complies and exits the car, Encinia informs her that she is under arrest. Bland repeatedly asks the officer why she is under arrest, but no answer is given. The two move toward the passenger side of the car and are out of view for the rest of the footage. A passerby recorded the remainder of the arrest, which shows Bland lying on the ground as Encinia kneels on her back and handcuffs her.
“[The footage from the dash camera] doesn’t give us any more understanding of what actually happened to her,” Bland family attorney Cannon Lambert said to the Chicago Tribune.
Since the video’s release, viewers are questioning whether the video was tampered with or edited. Video editing experts, including Selma director Ava DuVernay, point out that segments of the video that seem to loop or skips periods of time. According to TIME, the Texas Department of Public Safety claims that the errors were a result of an uploading malfunction and that they would be releasing a new version soon.
Texas County prosecutor Elton Mathis said that state officials and the FBI are treating Bland’s death as a murder investigation rather than a suicide. Mathis also told the Huffington Post that fingerprints will be examined and DNA tests will be run on the plastic bag that asphixiated Bland.