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|Police Violence In The US: Emily Bland's Story by ephi123(f): 11:06am On Jul 22, 2015|
Anger over Sandra Bland's death in a Texas jail has boiled over after newly released video showed what happened at the traffic stop that led to her arrest.
Now, many question whether she should have been arrested at all.
The dashcam video shows Texas state Trooper Brian Encinia pulling Bland over July 10 for allegedly failing to use her turn signal. What started as normal conversation gets testy after Encinia asks her to put out her cigarette.
"I am in my car. I don't have to put out my cigarette," Bland said.
"You can step on out now," Encinia replies.
Bland refuses to get out of her car, and the trooper opens her door and starts trying to pull her out of the vehicle.
What happens after that has ignited a debate about what the officer could have done versus what he should have done.
'For a failure to signal?'
In the video, Encinia tells Bland she is under arrest. She repeatedly asks why, but the trooper does not answer, other than to say "I am giving you a lawful order."
They argue, then Encinia pulls what appears to be his Taser and points it at Bland.
He screams: "Get out of the car! I will light you up! Get out! Now!"
Bland then exits the car of her own accord, saying: "Wow, really, for a failure to signal? You're doing all of this for a failure to signal?"
Much of what happens next is not seen on camera, but the officer can be heard saying Bland is not compliant.
"When you pull away from me, you're resisting arrest," says Encinia.
A clearly upset Bland can be heard saying: "You're a real man now. You just slammed me, knocked my head in the ground. I got epilepsy you mother******."
"Good," he replies.
A female officer tells Bland she should have thought about that before she started resisting.
What's the legality here?
Technically, a driver can get arrested in Texas for simply failing to use a turn signal.
In the video, Encinia tells Bland he intended to give her just a warning -- until Bland failed to comply with orders and repeatedly cursed at the trooper.
"You were getting a warning ... until now," Encinia said. "You're going to jail."
CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck said the trooper did have the right to ask Bland to get out of the car and then try to pull her out of the car.
"The fact is an officer can make an arrest anytime ... you run a red light, parking ticket, anything like that," Houck said. "What he did was he notices she was agitated."
But Houck, a retired New York Police Department detective, said he was concerned by the video.
"The one problem I have was just that he told her to get out of the car because she wouldn't stop smoking."
CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said she advises people that "when you have a police encounter, you want to make it as short and sweet as possible."
"But I don't think that he had the right to ask her to get out of the car because not putting out your cigarette is not cause for an arrest."
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said Encinia has been taken off the street and has been assigned administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation. "We have certain procedures in place, and he did not comply with those procedures," McCraw said. "One of the many procedures is letting the individual know in terms of what actions are going to be taken." The director also said "A DPS state trooper has an obligation to exhibit professionalism and be courteous throughout the entire contact, and that wasn't the case in this situation."
What's the response?
Emotions ran high as people across the country watched the video.
"Just watched about 20 minutes of Sandra Bland's traffic stop," one person tweeted. "(I don't know) if I've ever been so heated. I can feel my blood boiling."
"Half of my family (including my mother) works in law enforcement," Ashley C. Ford tweeted. "I am well aware of my rights. Sandra Bland should've never been arrested."
Encinia has not spoken out publicly about the incident. But he gave his account in his arrest warrant affidavit, as reported by CNN affiliate KPRC. The trooper wrote that Bland became "combative and uncooperative," and that she was placed in handcuffs "for officer safety." "Bland began swinging her elbows at me and then kicked my right leg in the shin," Encinia said. "I had a pain in my right leg and suffered small cuts on my right hand. Force was used to subdue Bland to the ground to which Bland continued to fight back." Encinia also wrote that Bland "was placed under arrest for Assault on a Public Servant."
Morale of the story: Police seem to be the same all over the world - if in the US a cop could physically pull this lady out of her car I can now see that Nigerian police have "mentors" across the world. What a shame.
|Re: Police Violence In The US: Emily Bland's Story by mightyokwy(m): 11:46am On Jul 22, 2015|
|Re: Police Violence In The US: Emily Bland's Story by Lucasbalo(m): 6:15am On Jul 23, 2015|
The death of Sandra Bland is very tragic and unnecessary. The white racist police officer over reacted . I hope the justice dept. will take over the investigation because I do not trust the Texas dept. .
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