A police video of Sandra Bland’s arrest fuels suspicions about her death

A woman puts out flowers in memory of Sandra Bland.
A woman puts out flowers in memory of Sandra Bland.
Image: AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

There’s something odd about the police dash-cam video of Sandra Bland’s July 10 arrest, which has gone viral since the 28-year-old woman was found dead due to “self-inflicted asphyxiation” in her jail cell, three days after being arrested.

Journalist Ben Norton highlighted several inconsistencies in the 52-minute video, which was posted on the department’s YouTube channel on Tuesday (July 21). He argued the video has “clearly been doctored.” The following video snippet repeats at the 0:17 second mark, and there are several other strange cut-outs and loops at other sections of the tape:

Texas police told Time on Wednesday (July 22) that the video was not intentionally edited, but that an error uploading the video had caused glitches in the footage. The department said officials were working on an accurate version, which will soon be released.

Bland was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change, but the traffic stop escalated quickly. The video shows officer Brian Encina, who pulled her over, ordering Bland to step out of the car and put out her cigarette—an order which she refused. Encina then opened the car door and attempted to remove Bland from the car. When she resists, Encina says, ”I will light you up,” and points a taser at Bland.

Throughout the video, Bland repeatedly questions why she is under arrest. The majority of the confrontation between Encina and Bland is not caught on camera, but she can be heard shouting that the officer slammed her head on the ground. Encina later tells a female officer who arrives on the scene that Bland resisted and then kicked him, which caused him to take her “straight to the ground.”

Bland’s family members, friends, and supporters continue to question her alleged suicide. Waller County District Attorney has said that the investigation is being conducted as it would be a murder investigation, though it is still in its early stages.

Civil rights activists have continued to discuss and question Bland’s arrest and subsequent death on Twitter: