TX DPS Releases Video of Sandra Bland Traffic Stop

Here's the video of the Sandra Bland traffic stop released today on You Tube by the TX Dept of Public Safety.

CNN was all Sandra Bland all day in the car. I don't have anything to add, but I'm posting it for those who are interested.

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    A tragedy. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 21, 2015 at 08:41:56 PM EST

    Worse than that, Oculus: a common tragedy. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jul 21, 2015 at 08:58:08 PM EST
    Let's start at the beginning, (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:31:14 PM EST
    Not using directional signals is so ubiquitous that I would estimate less than 50% of drivers use them routinely. In New York, from where I came, maybe slightly more than 50%, in Tennessee, where I am now, less than 20% of the time.

    Stops for these minor offenses are used as pretexts when cops want to investigate something else, but have no probable cause. On the open road, the bullcrap reason is usually, "weaving."

    So, the first question the cop should be asked in any investigation would be, "what was the real reason you stopped Ms. Bland?

    PO Encinio made a U-turn (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:19:24 PM EST
    and followed a car with Illinois license plates.

    he stopped the car for an inconsequential reason I believe to intimidate a northern Black driver. Either at the window or later when communicating with station house he learned who she was.
    He returned to her car to say "You seem agitated" while telling her this is a traffic "warning".
    She was smoking [a common tool used to relax. In her case, a wise action, any Black woman would be anxious stopped, alone, stopped by a cop in Waller Co.]
    Text from video:
    Officer: You mind putting out your cigarette, please?
    Sandra: I'm in my car. Why do I have to put out my cigarette?
    Officer: Well, you can step on out now.
    Sandra:  I don't have to step out of my car.
    Officer: Step out of the car. [He opens her car door.]
    Sandra: No ... you don't have the right.
    Officer: Step out of the car ... I do have the right. Now, step out or I will remove you.
    Sandra: I refuse to talk to you other than to identify myself ... I'm getting removed for a failure ...
    Officer: Step out or I will remove you. I am giving you a lawful order. Get out of the car now.
    Sandra: And I'm calling my lawyer.
    [The officer then leans into the car grabbing her arms and pullshing for

    Officer: I'm going to yank you out.

    White people with no experience being Black, bemoan her righteous indignation but don't listen to the intimidation and threats of PO Brian Encino, like: "I'll light you up" while pointing a taser.


    Dropping all my PC after reading some comments (none / 0) (#63)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:33:16 PM EST
    I need to amend my comment above. I fully expect there was a Waller Co. LE Alert on Sandra Bland. Police departments surveil to intimidate "unwanted" persons this all the time. It is considered pro-active public safety but an objective eye will often recognize something far more nefarious and unjust. PO Encinio was the first cop to see her.

    Stop with the racism insinuations (1.50 / 2) (#52)
    by CityLife on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:40:00 PM EST
    He had just pulled over someone else and gave them a warning. He was going to give her a waring but she refuse to get out of the car like a fool. She had a really nasty attitude and then was verbally abusive and then as a black female officer witnessed, Sandra kicked the trooper.

    I think what could have caught his eye (when he did the U-turn) is that she went right through a stop sign and didn't even signal for that turn either.

    She was refusing lawful orders, she had no right to refuse to get out of the car PERIOD AND on top of that her behavior was over the top hostile and vulgar. You should note that a black woman police officer says she saw Sandra kick the trooper. That is how out of control Sandra was. Do you think the black woman police officer was "racist"? What do you think gives Sandra the right to behave like this?


    Uh, no. You can stop right there. (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:00:36 PM EST
    CityLife: "[Sandra Bland] was refusing lawful orders, she had no right to refuse to get out of the car PERIOD AND on top of that her behavior was over the top hostile and vulgar."

    By the Texas Dept. of Public Safety's own admission, State Trooper Brian Encinia's demand that Sandra Bland step out of her car was not a lawful order. Further, he has presently been restricted by DPS to desk duty pending further investigation, for what the department describes as his apparent violation of both the department's proscribed procedures regarding traffic stops and its stated policy on public courtesy.

    You need to get your own facts straight, before you fling about such spurious accusations.



    links, and it is important:
    By the Texas Dept. of Public Safety's own admission, State Trooper Brian Encinia's demand that Sandra Bland step out of her car was not a lawful order.

    ... that Trooper Encinia violated the department's rules of procedure regarding traffic stops and public courtesy, doesn't it follow that they don't consider his conduct to be lawful? Department spokespersons generally don't issue such public statements cavalierly about their own employees.

    Since when does a police officer have the right to order you out of your car during an ostensibly routine traffic stop, at their own individual discretion and without due cause? (And sorry, but your failure to heed that officer's request that you stop smoking, while still seated in your own car, is not due cause.) The short answer is, he or she doesn't.

    Further, Trooper Encinia then threatened to yank Ms. Bland out of her car and taser her if she didn't comply with his demand, and then he threatened her again if she didn't put down her cell phone.

    Here's why that conduct is unlawful. The Revised Statutes of Texas grants to the state's Department of Public Safety the sole authority to both adopt and enforce administrative rules of conduct for its employees.

    Since the department's public statements concede that Trooper Encinia's conduct was likely in breach of those rules, it therefore follows that his superiors consider it potentially actionable in civil court, should Ms. Bland's family subsequently choose to file suit against either DPS or Mr. Encinia, or both.

    Such personal conduct doesn't necessarily have to be criminal, for it to still be unlawful. When you ignore or flout a state agency's or department's adopted guidelines which expressly mandate or prohibit certain conduct on your part in a given situation, then you're likely in violation of civil law and subject to penalty, because that agency or department generally enjoys the statutory authority to enforce its own rules.

    Further, state law generally grants to individuals the right to bring an action against an agency or department for its failure to either follow or enforce its own rules, or otherwise adhere to state law.

    Now, all that said, it has yet to be determined whether Trooper Encinia's conduct further constitutes an actual violation of Texas criminal statutes.

    You don't need to read something literally, in order to realize that Encinia's superiors consider his conduct unlawful and subject to sanction. They saw that dashcam video well before we did, and Encinia wouldn't be presently restricted to desk duty pending further investigation, if his superiors thought otherwise.



    which I quoted above, that has essentially zero support.

    In actual fact, most (all?) of the major news outlets who have analyzed this conclude exactly the opposite of your statement.

    But, hey, if you know more than they all do...


    Did you read the Washington Post article .. (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:00:08 PM EST
    ... which I linked above, and do so again here?

    "'It's not unusual for an officer to ask someone to put out their cigarette or hang up their phone, that sort of thing,' said attorney Margo Frasier, the police monitor for Austin, Texas. 'The question becomes whether they can make you do it.'

    "Frasier, the former sheriff of Texas's Travis County, added: 'If you are in your own vehicle -- assuming it's a tobacco cigarette -- and the officer asks you to put it out, I don't know of any statute that would require you to do it.'


    "When it comes to a law enforcement officer ordering a person out of a vehicle during a traffic stop, courts have given the officers a lot of discretion 'under the premise of officer safety,' Frasier said.

    "But in this instance, Frasier said, that would be a difficult case to make. 'You want to give the benefit of the doubt to the officer,' she said of Encinia, "but I'm not sure, other than the fact that [Bland] wouldn't put out her cigarette, what would be perceived as a safety issue.'

    "Rebecca Robertson, legal policy director of ACLU of Texas, said officers have some latitude to ask people to stop certain activities if they interfere with their ability to carry out law enforcement duties. Upon review of the video, though, Robertson said she saw 'nothing to suggest that this falls into this category.'

    Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times also examines that question, and offers the following:

    "Yes, an officer can order you out of your car, police experts agreed. But whether an officer can command you to extinguish a cigarette is murkier, depending on whether the cigarette is perceived as a threat. Several also said that some of the trooper's actions were unprofessional and did not make for good policing.

    "Specifically, Texas Trooper Brian T. Encinia should not have reached into Bland's vehicle when she refused his commands or threatened to 'light' her up with a Taser, experts who saw the video said."

    Several of the others who were interviewed for Winton's article are of the opinion that Trooper Encinia's actions were justified, which is understandable since they're all current or former members of law enforcement. But in my opinion, the best comment was offered by Charles Heal, formerly of the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.

    "'People don't appreciate the danger of escalating a situation with law enforcement,' said Charles 'Sid' Heal, a former L.A. County sheriff's commander and force expert. 'If a person believes they have a case, wait until after jail and sue. You don't want to escalate the situation to the point the officer feels threatened.'"

    So, my two core questions remain:

    • While Sandra Bland was admittedly discourteous upon being pulled over for a traffic violation, and probably had a chip on her shoulder regarding her personal attitude toward law enforcement, did she actually constitute a threat to the personal safety of State Trooper Brian Encinia while she was sitting in her own vehicle, when she refused to comply with his directive that she put out her cigarette?

    • Or did Encinia's own ego cause him to lose all sense of proper perspective in the face of Bland's obvious but still petty defiance, by which he first escalated the situation to the point of physical confrontation with his own threats to physically remove her and "light [her] up" with his taser, and then reacted to a self-perceived threat which his own actions and remarkably poor judgment had likely instigated?

    Even though Ms. Bland's demeanor toward Trooper Encinia was inconsiderate and rude, he could have chosen to be the consummate professional, issued her the written warning for the traffic violation, bid her a good day and then be on his way. After all, discretion in such situations is always the better part of valor.

    But Encinia didn't. Instead, and for reasons known only to him, he decided to aggressively impose his authority upon Bland. And per the department's rules, that's a direct reflection on him and not her, because it's his own conduct in this matter which his superiors have questioned.

    I haven't watched TV today, so I'm unaware of what they're saying on the cable and network news programs. But while I agree that police officers have the court-granted discretion to order individuals to out of their cars if and when necessary, as far as what I said earlier, I'm pretty confident that when this entire incident is considered and analyzed as a whole, rather than selectively in bits and pieces, Encinia's conduct was both unlawful and most certainly unprofessional.

    Further, I'm also pretty certain that the Texas Dept. of Public Safety likely realizes that, hence their public statements and restriction of Encinia to administrative duties only. And if Bland's family decides to file a lawsuit, as I'm sure they will at some point in the near future, it would not surprise me at all if -- given what we see and hear on that dashboard video -- the State of Texas and Waller County seeks to settle the matter out of court, rather than risk a public trial.



    some of that is wrong (none / 0) (#133)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:48:26 AM EST
     which is why it is smart to know the actual rulings rather than relying on people with agenda commenting in the popular press.

      What you  don't get is that a person can be disciplined (by a public or private employer) for the manner in which they execute a lawful act.

      Ignoring the fact many agencies will suspend with pay or transfer to administrative duties while an investigation is pending and that does not mean it is inevitable formal discipline will follow, Texas state Police, there are many things a cop can do are not unlawful which could get them in trouble on the job.

      It seems clear to me that his superiors are saying "our policy is to be civil, courteous and promptly inform citizens of the grounds." All are good policies but failure to follow a policy does not mean an act or omission is therefore unlawful. Despite your express claim no one in authority has stated the cop's conduct was unlawful in any way let alone that the specific act of ordering her to exit the vehicle was unlawful.

      I'm sure they are worried about a lawsuit, but any claim based on the specific act of the order to exit will fail. his attitude and demeanor during that stage of the encounter might be relevant in terms of state of mind, reasonableness, credibility if he testifies, etc. I determining whether unreasonable force was used later during the encounter. But that order was not an unlawful infringement on her 4th amendment right against unreasonable seizure.



    What about her arrest for assault? (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 04:50:17 PM EST
    I apologize for changing directions here, but there was one thing I saw and heard upon re-watching the dashcam video this morning which was so painfully obvious, I could kick myself for not having noticed it earlier.

    In Trooper Encinia's incident report, he states that Sandra Bland was arrested for "Assault on a Public Servant," a class 3 felony under Texas law. Here's a scanned copy of the report, and I've transcribed the relevant portion below because as it appears onscreen, the print is small:

    "I had Bland exit the vehicle to further conduct a safe traffic investigation. Bland became combative and uncooperative. Numerous commands were given to Bland to exit the vehicle. Bland was removed from the car but became more combative. Bland was placed in handcuffs for officer safety. Bland began swinging her elbows at me and then kicked my right leg in the shin. 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. Bland was placed under arrest for assault on a public servant. (TX Penal Code 22.01(B)(1))" (Emphasis is mine.)

    Yet per the dashcam video, the following relevant exchange occurs between Encinia and Bland, starting from the moment he requests that extinguish her cigarette. Per the transcript:

    Encinia: "You mind putting out your cigarette, please? If you don't mind?"

    Bland: "I'm in my car, why do I have to put out my cigarette?"

    Encinia: "Well you can step on out now."

    Bland: "I don't have to step out of my car."

    Encinia: "Step out of the car."

    Bland: "Why am I --"

    Encinia: "Step out of the car!"

    Bland: "No, you don't have the right. No, you don't have the right."

    Encinia: "Step out of the car."

    Bland: "You do not have the right. You do not have the right to do this."

    Encinia: "I do have the right, now step out or I will remove you."

    Bland: "I refuse to talk to you other than to identify myself."


    Bland: "I am getting removed for a failure to signal?"

    Encinia: "Step out or I will remove you. I'm giving you a lawful order. Get out of the car now or I'm going to remove you."

    Bland: "And I'm calling my lawyer."

    Encinia: "I'm going to yank you out of here." (Reaches inside the car.)

    Bland: "OK, you're going to yank me out of my car? OK, alright."

    Encinia: (Calling in backup) "2547."

    Bland: "Let's do this."

    Encinia: "Yeah, we're going to." (Grabs for Bland.)

    Bland: "Don't touch me!"

    Encinia: "Get out of the car!"

    Bland: "Don't touch me. Don't touch me! I'm not under arrest -- you don't have the right to take me out of the car."

    Encinia: "You are under arrest!"

    Bland: "I'm under arrest? For what? For what? For what?"

    "For what?" Well, per Trooper Encinia's report, Sandra Bland was arrested for felony assault on a public servant.

    And yet, per the dashcam video, Encinia didn't merely inform Bland that she was only being detained; he clearly and distinctly said that she was under arrest. Yet how could she be arrested for felony assault on a public servant, if she's still seated in her own vehicle with the door closed? As far as I can tell, those two facts are contradictory and irreconcilable.

    Any thoughts?


    Very little (none / 0) (#176)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 05:14:45 PM EST
     of the audio is clear to me once they get going. I don't hear that well and  on the tinny little speaker here it's hard to discern once they start yelling at each other. Assuming the transcript is correct, that could make a difference. Affirmatively stating to a person she is "under arrest" could certainly tip the scales so that it has progressed from investigatory detention to arrest and an arrest requires probable cause.

       And regardless of whether he was intending to at that point to arrest her for some unspecified offense or just using terminology incorrectly-- or just pissed-- I don't think his subjective state of mind would be a factor. It's (another) totality of the circumstances determination as to whether a person is under arrest. You don't necessarily need the magic words "under arrest" to be spoken to have an arrest, but I don't think the officer's subjective state of mind is considered, only the "objective" factors (including but not limited to: duration;  restraint, manual or with handcuffs, etc.; being placed in police vehicle; being informed, etc.

      But as I went through somewhere in this thread, I don't know that would make a difference in this situation. As I said a person may defend themselves with physical force against excessive force but not just unlawful detention or arrest.



    That makes sense. (none / 0) (#178)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 05:32:41 PM EST

    now (none / 0) (#106)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 08:46:46 PM EST
    That's the SUO  we know and love.

    Of course expecting Donalf to concede he's conversing out his backside is rather futile. As you can see from his reply to me he either can't be bothered to read the case orcan't understand it. So he just doubles down on the pompous ignorane.


    Reconstructionist: "Of course expecting Donalf to concede he's conversing out his backside is rather futile. As you can see from his reply to me he either can't be bothered to read the case orcan't understand it. So he just doubles down on the pompous ignorane."

    I looked up and read both those cases you cited, and I don't disagree with you that the courts have granted the police significant discretion in assessing perceived threats to their own or others' safety, while determining whether or not they should order someone from their cars during a traffic stop as a result.

    But that's clearly not the entire issue here. There's also the matter of Trooper Encinia's readily apparent failure to exercise sound judgment and maintain proper perspective, and whether he had both a professional and legal obligation to de-escalate tensions between himself and Sandra Bland while issuing the written warning for that alleged traffic violation.

    It is my contention that per the department's rules -- which are legally binding upon him as an officer of the law, given his sworn oath to that effect -- he did have that obligation. Instead, he failed to rein in his own ego, which then drove his own conduct over a line which should have otherwise never been breached, and it became actionable as a result.

    If you as a public employee knowingly or intentionally ignore or flout departmental rules regarding your own personal conduct, that's a violation for which you could be subject to an administrative hearing and potential sanction. If the violation is egregious, you're further subject to potential civil and / or criminal penalties, depending upon its severity and consequences. The use of the term "unlawful" is not exclusive to criminal law, because not all unlawful acts or activities necessarily rise to the level of criminality.

    Encinia had no cause to have ordered Bland to get out of the car, other than his own personal desire to impose upon her his own authority as a law enforcement officer. And given the sources I linked, I'm obviously not the only one who thinks that. Whether he actually faces criminal liability as a result of his conduct is yet to be determined, and we'll have to await the results of the investigation.

    Now, that said, there was really no reason for you to be personally rude and insulting to me, especially since I wasn't the same to you. I'm simply interested in having a robust discussion, and in exchanging opinions and ideas about what's rapidly becoming a very controversial issue. I'm certainly open to other people's interpretations, and will even change my mind, should new information comes to light.

    But I'm likely never going to do so when you curtly dismiss my questions with statements about me being ignorant, and either unwilling or incapable of understanding the issue. You define pomposity yourself with such self-righteous and arrogant pronouncements.

    Have a good evening.


    You keep pretending the conversation is (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 12:12:42 AM EST
    not about this comment of yours:
    By the Texas Dept. of Public Safety's own admission, State Trooper Brian Encinia's demand that Sandra Bland step out of her car was not a lawful order.
    Which, of course, is, you, well, "misspeaking" on every level.

    The Texas Dept. of Public Safety never said that, not even close

    And it is completely your personal opinion that "Brian Encinia's demand that Sandra Bland step out of her car was not a lawful order."

    All of which makes this following sentence of yours even more ironic:

    You need to get your own facts straight, before you fling about such spurious accusations.

    My advice to you is to simply stop now.

    I won't hold my breath...


    you should heed the advice to stop (none / 0) (#132)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:33:23 AM EST

    Against this important interest we are asked to weigh the intrusion into the driver's personal liberty occasioned not by the initial stop of the vehicle, which was admittedly justified, but by the order to get out of the car. We think this additional intrusion can only be described as de minimis. The driver is being asked to expose to view very little more of his person than is already exposed. The police have already lawfully decided that the driver shall be briefly detained; the only question is whether he shall spend that period sitting in the driver's seat of his car or standing alongside it. Not only is the insistence of the police on the latter choice not a "serious intrusion upon the sanctity of the person," but it hardly rises to the level of a " 'petty indignity.' " Terry v. Ohio, supra, 392 U.S. at 17, 88 S.Ct. at 1877. What is at most a mere inconvenience cannot prevail when balanced against legitimate concerns for the officer's safety.

    From Wilson:

    On the other side of the balance, we considered the intrusion into the driver's liberty occasioned by the officer's ordering him out of the car. Noting that the driver's car was already validly stopped for a traffic infraction, we deemed the additional intrusion of asking him to step outside his car "de minimis." Ibid. Accordingly, we concluded that "once a motor vehicle has been lawfully detained for a traffic violation, the police officers may order the driver to get out of the vehicle without violating the Fourth Amendment's proscription of unreasonable seizures." Id., at 111, n. 6.

    Respondent urges, and the lower courts agreed, that this per se rule does not apply to Wilson because he was a passenger, not the driver.

      Wilson then goes on to extend the PER SE rule to passengers. The whole thrust is that officers do not need any particularuized justification to order occupants of a vehicle which has been lawfully stopped to exit the vehicle. Nothing, Nada, zip, zilch.

      All your babbling about due cause and discretion and so forth is simply WRONG.

      Many of us don't like that rule and others rtelating to vehicle stop and just the 4th amendment generally, but thast has nothing to do with what the law IS-- and you obviously don't understand it.


    Sometimes a law enforcement officer (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 08:06:52 PM EST
    doesn't absolutely comply with every guideline set forth in the employing agency's manual or official orders but this non-compliance may or may not constitute a violation of state or federal criminal law (s). Need more info, and, of course, the exercise of the discretion of the prosecutor (s).

    What link has that? (none / 0) (#93)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:52:52 PM EST
      I ask because Pennsylvania v. Mimms  held that a police officer may order a driver to exit his vehicle during a routine traffic stop. Later in Maryland v. Wilson that rule was extended to cover passengers as well. As I said somewhere else in the thread, different states can have different laws and those laws and individual state interpretations of their own constitutions  can be more protective (but not less) of individual rights protected under the 4th Amendment.

       It is somewhat surprising to me that Texas would be a state that affords greater protection than the U.S. Constitution requires.


    You still have to have due cause. (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 08:24:02 PM EST
    Reconstructionist: "I ask because Pennsylvania v. Mimms  held that a police officer may order a driver to exit his vehicle during a routine traffic stop. Later in Maryland v. Wilson that rule was extended to cover passengers as well."

    Courts have generally granted to police officers a fairly wide latitude and discretion in the conduct of their official duties, and an officer's personal judgment about a perceived threat to either his or her own personal safety or the safety of the individual driver being stopped, is generally allowable under that interpretation.

    But that officer can't simply order somebody out of their car at a traffic stop on personal whim and without due cause, just because he or she is irritated at that person's perceived impudence, or otherwise simply feels like imposing his or her authority upon that person as an officer of the law.

    That's a clear violation of an individual's civil rights, and I would submit that no court is going to countenance that sort of openly contemptuous behavior on the part of law enforcement personnel. In that regard, thank heavens for dashcams and bodycams, as well as citizens' cell phone cams, because now the courts can take into account other visual evidence, rather than merely rely upon the officer's word.

    Where was the due cause in this particular case? I'd offer that for their part, Trooper Encinia's superiors at the Texas DPS likely didn't see any when viewing that dashcam video, hence their public statements and order that he be restricted to desk duty pending further investigation.

    The question here, as I see it, is actually twofold:

    • Did Trooper Encinia have the requisite authority to direct -- not ask politely, but actually order -- Ms. Brand to put out her cigarette, while she was sitting in her own car and waiting for him to issue a citation or written warning, regarding her earlier failure to signal when changing lanes?

    • Did Ms. Brand's apparent failure to comply with Trooper Encinia's directive in a timely manner constitute an imminent threat to the personal safety of either Encinia or Brand or both, one which then justified his escalation of that traffic stop into a physical confrontation with her?

    I would submit that if the answer to the first question is "no," which I'm pretty certain it is, then the second question is irrelevant because his subsequent conduct would then likely constitute an assault.

    But let's assume for the sake of argument that Trooper Encinia's demand that Ms. Brand stop smoking was merely a request on his part, and not a formal directive. (It certainly doesn't appear that way on the dashcam video, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for the moment here.)

    Now, that's certainly a reasonable request, and one which you or I or anyone else here might make if someone else's second-hand smoke was bothering us physically.

    But does Ms. Brand's admittedly discourteous refusal to comply with that request to stop smoking thus constitute an imminent threat to either individual's immediate safety and well being, one which then justifies Trooper Encinia's directive that she alight from her vehicle?

    Further, is Encinia's subsequent threats to yank Brand from her vehicle and "light [her] up" with his taser also justified, when she is clearly protesting what she perceives to be an unlawful order?

    From what I've read and can determine, the answers are likely "no" and "no" on both those counts.

    At that point, Trooper Encinia's conduct -- which escalated a traffic stop into a physical confrontation and altercation -- constituted a violation of departmental rules regarding both his official conduct during a traffic stop and his discourteous treatment of Ms. Brand, which is so noted by Texas DPS in its public statements.

    Encinia had no right to first order Brand to stop smoking while she was seated in her own car, and then threaten her physically when she apparently refused to comply with his directive. Further, Texas DPS rules regarding an employee's official conduct don't require her to be courteous to him, only vice versa.

    Ergo, Encinia's conduct was unlawful, at least from a civil standpoint. Whether he further violated criminal law in subduing Ms. Brand physically has yet to be determined.



    on the facts of this. I was trying to point that out in a nice way.

    Oh (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:59:56 PM EST
     I guess your uncharacteristic subtlety eluded me.

     (Just joshing)


    it's working out.

    Based on his previous traffic stop (none / 0) (#51)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:38:02 PM EST
    It seems likely he pulled her over for not using her turn signal and would have probably let her off with a warning.  For some reason, Bland chose to be rude and confrontational.  

    You Keep Saying This... (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:00:27 PM EST
    ...but one, it's not illegal to be rude, two, it not illegal to smoke in your own car, three, the cop flipped out as much, if not more, than she did.

    He lost control because she didn't put out a cigarette, why do you keep acting like she is the only one not in control of their emotions.

    It's sick the way you filter what actually happened.


    Sorry to hear you're not feeling well (2.00 / 1) (#58)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:12:14 PM EST
    This cop may have overrated to the cigarette. There's not doubt Bland overreacted to the entire event. All she had to do was be calm, polite and put out her cigarette and there wouldn't have been an arrest and probably not a ticket.    

    "All she had to do" (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:20:01 PM EST
    I don't understand how you have the ability to predict a different outcome based solely on the behavior of one person.  Who's to say that when the cop wasn't treated with the submissive deference he expected, he didn't decide to be a d!ck no matter what Bland said or did?  You know, teach her a lesson about doing what you're told by someone in uniform.

    Do you know of any instances where people did all the right things and still ended up injured or dead?  

    Of course you do, so stop acting as if the entire course of events is and always has been in the complete control of the citizen.


    All the Cop Had... (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:29:32 PM EST
    ... 'to do was be calm, polite and' and not worry about someone smoking in their own car, 'and there wouldn't have been an arrest and probably not a ticket.'  

    Why are the people with no power in these situations always tasked to keep civility with the people who have all the power when they are paid to keep civility in the community ?

    IOW, why is it always on someone else to keep the cops from overreacting ?


    Scott's feeling just fine; (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:35:22 PM EST
    he didn't say "he" was sick, he said "it's" sick the way you filter what actually happened.

    If you can't see the difference, or feel the need to conflate what Scott said about you into something about him, well, let's just say I understand better how you reach the conclusions you do about these situations.


    The crime of being "rude (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:29:43 PM EST
    and confrontational."   So when are they going to arrest Donald Trump?

    Good Lord, you guys love Big Brother, police state tactics....


    Why do you always - ALWAYS - contend that ... (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:11:17 PM EST
    McBain: "It seems likely he pulled her over for not using her turn signal and would have probably let her off with a warning. For some reason, Bland chose to be rude and confrontational."

    ... it is somehow the fault of black people in any such confrontation with law enforcement? Time and again, you look for any reason whatsoever, no matter how specious and trivial, to absolve white law enforcement officers in these situations.

    While Trooper Encinia was perfectly with his rights to ask Sandra Bland to not smoke in his presence, he had no legal authority to then order her out of her own car for her failure to heed his request.

    You know, there's a reason why the Texas Department of Public Safety has since restricted him to administrative duties, having found that he likely violated the department's policies on traffic stops and courtesy.

    Deal with it, and please cease with your race-baiting insinuations.



    You're the one bringing race into this (2.00 / 1) (#98)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 06:37:58 PM EST
    I don't see evidence that skin color had anything to do with Bland's arrest or death.  

    I'm begining to think... (none / 0) (#181)
    by unitron on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 06:35:20 PM EST
    ...that he intended to take her into custody (though I'm not sure exactly why or on what grounds) before he mentioned the cigarette, and that he wanted to have it not a danger before she found out.

    No concrete reason, it's just a vibe I'm getting from the transcript and video.


    I wondered the same thing (none / 0) (#182)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 06:38:43 PM EST
    it started with her saying she saw him coming up behind her and she tried to move over.  

    As you say.  Just an impression.  


    Waller Co. (none / 0) (#202)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:04:53 PM EST
    I offered earlier in my comments explanation for just what you two are saying. The traffic stop was not a coincidence. It could have been any PO but Encinia saw her first and he got the chance "to teach her a lesson" in the vernacular of Jim Crow.

    Sandra Bland should not have died in Waller Co. TX police custody. The facts of her death are not summed up by a Waller Co. DA pronouncing "voluntary suicide". Encinia should not be a police officer.


    My guess is that he saw her blow through (none / 0) (#54)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:53:59 PM EST
    the stop sign. That would also explain why he made a quick u-turn and drove fast to catch up to her.

    Her response that she changed lanes because she saw him come behind her fast so she wanted to get out of his way seems reasonable, imo.

    Pulling someone over for not using their turn signal while changing lanes - especially when you know that just about everybody alive gets nervous when a cop car speeds up to them and sits on their rear bumper - is pretty bogus, imo.

    A cop, pretending not to understand how someone would be pissed off that the cop would do all this, is also pretty bogus, imo.

    Using her perfectly legal choice not to acquiesce to his not-in-any-way-binding request that she put out her cig as an excuse to force her out of her car is also pretty bogus, imo.

    I agree with her assessment of him as a straight-up pu**y, regardless of whether or not he was acting w/in the technical details of the law.


    a valid question (none / 0) (#57)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:05:55 PM EST

       The video begins with him finishing a prior stop which ended uneventfully and quite civilly with a warning.

      At the time the Bland vehicle appears it does not look to me as if the cop could have determined the race of the driver and the car itself is unremarkable (although it is possible out-of-state plates might have piqued attention).

      She did switch lanes without signaling and while that law is  selectively enforced  (and sometimes (abused by cops lying it happened or, at least in my state applying it over broadly because in my state the law requires signaling only when necessary to alert other vehicles)that does provide grounds for a lawful stop even it is pretextual (see Whren v. Ohio).

       Quite frankly, looking specifically at this case I see  no strong reason to assume this was anything but a routine traffic stop at the outset.  

       McBain is correct in that she acted very unwisely. There is no good reason to behave as she did. A cigarette is a dumb place to draw a line in the sand with anyone let alone a cop who can arrest you rightly or wrongly. Even if you don't end up in custody or alternatively are eventually "cleared" what have you gained by not simply being courteous and snubbing out your smoke?

       but, again these are tangential issues here. The issues are did the cop use excessive force in parts we can't see? Was she injured during the altercation? Did that injury result in her death? Would medical attention have prevented her death? Was it reasonable or was it negligent not to have her examined prior to jailing her?

       If she said she didn't want medical that's relevant but not conclusive to the issue of negligence because a reasonable person could perceive circumstances where the person's expressed desire might be the result of psychological or physiological condition or, the instant injury and bring medical into the picture. (In my state the jails are operated by an administratively separate agency and will not accept people who appear to be injured or intoxicated without medical evaluation because of the liability assumed by accepting custody.)

       Then onceshe was jailed: Was there reason to believe she was injured that was not reasonably apparent at the time she was taken into custody? did she exhibit signs onf mental/psychological issues? And, of course was she directly harmed by staff or inmates while in custody and then if so you would go back to the same questions and duties the police had at the stop.


    Food for thought: (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:26:01 AM EST
    From Ian Millhiser at Think Progress:

    Rodriguez v. United States held that police could not extend the length of a routine traffic stop, even for just a few minutes, absent a safety related concern or reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver may have committed an additional crime. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in the opinion of the Court, "[t]he tolerable duration of police inquiries in the traffic-stop context is determined by the seizure's `mission' -- to address the traffic violation that warranted the stop, and attend to related safety concerns." A police stop "may `last no longer than is necessary to effectuate th[at] purpose.' Authority for the seizure thus ends when tasks tied to the traffic infraction are -- or reasonably should have been -- completed."

    By the time Encinia asks Bland to put out her cigarette, the "mission" of his encounter with Bland is almost at completion. He has already written the citation and brought it to Bland. While she is being handcuffed, Bland even indicates that she was "trying to sign the fkng ticket" before Encinia tried to pull her out of her car. Had the officer not decided to extend the length of the stop over the argument about the cigarette, it is likely that Bland would have been sent on her way very shortly after she declined to extinguish her cigarette.

    Under Rodriguez, a stop may be extended if the officer uncovers new evidence that provides reasonable suspicion that a suspect has committed some other crime, but cigarette smoking is legal so that could not have justified extending the length of the stop. That leaves one other possible justification: an officer may extend a stop to address "safety concerns" that arise out of an encounter with a suspect. Thus, if Bland's survivors challenge this arrest in court, Encinia might try to argue that the cigarette presented a potential safety concern -- perhaps he thought that she might try to use it as a weapon and burn him.

    A search of the Lexis database of court decisions found no federal or state court cases that would bind a Texas officer which answers the question of whether a lit cigarette presents the kind of safety concern relevant to the Supreme Court's decision in Rodriguez. Nevertheless, there are two reasons why a court should be skeptical if Encinia claims that he decided to extend and escalate his confrontation with Bland because of safety concerns related to the cigarette.

    The first is just how rapidly Encinia escalated this confrontation. The officer never gives Bland a direct order to extinguish the cigarette -- his exact words to her are "you mind putting out your cigarette, please, if you don't mind?" So, even if Encinia did have the lawful authority to demand that she put out the cigarette, Bland reasonably could have viewed this as a request that she could refuse. When Bland did refuse, Encinia immediately orders her out of the car without taking the intermediate step of actually ordering her to put out the cigarette. This rapid escalation extended the length of the stop without a clear justification for doing so.

    Additionally, Trooper Encinia did not mention the argument over the cigarette (or the fact that he pulled his stun gun) in his official incident report. If Encinia truly believed that the lit cigarette was a danger to his safety that offered a legal justification for his actions, then it is unlikely that he would not have mentioned it in the report.

    Don't I love it (1.00 / 3) (#134)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:55:23 AM EST
    when the progressive cigarette haters who have been conducting a war on smokers and cigarettes for years suddenly discover the right to puff away at a traffic stop.

    Let's face it -- the autopsy showed a substantial amount of marijuana in her system.

    So she had probably just finished a marijuana cigarette and was using the smoke from her cigarette to mask the smell of the marijuana.

    It's done all the time. It's the only acceptable use of a cigarette that progressive cigarette haters endorse.


    I get it (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:14:20 AM EST
    Let's face it -- the autopsy showed a substantial amount of marijuana in her system.

    The autopsy was the only way for the officer to support his SUSPICION that she had smoked a joint.  You can't conduct an autopsy on a living person, Q.E.D.


    Besides your obvious logic (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 02:10:54 PM EST
    Even if you could trust the Waller Co DA MJ smear job: Sandra Brand may have had a medical use even a prescription because it is legal in Illinois. http://tinyurl.com/onxgfh2

    Not to mention, PO Encinia would have mentioned it.


    I get it (1.00 / 3) (#138)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:54:36 AM EST
    I get it ...

    No you don't get it.

    SHE knew that SHE probably smelled like marijuana and that's why SHE put up such a fuss and refused to put out her cig and get out of the car.


    You have no way of knowing that. (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:14:07 AM EST
    None.  You just made up thoughts in her head to explain why she didn't accommodate the officer by putting out the cigarette.

    He didn't order her to put it out.  He asked if she would mind putting it out, and she responded appropriately.  She was in her own car, and yes, she did mind.  She even asked why she needed to put it our, and the officer never answered her question.  Without going on to order her to put it out, he ordered her to step out of the car, then got both physical and threatening when she didn't comply.

    You feel compelled to tell us what people were thinking and why they said what they did, when you have no way to know.  You just make stuff up, write little fictionalized stories, put thoughts in people's heads, and words in their mouths, all without any basis, and you do it to support conclusions you've reached because you just make stuff up.

    I don't think you would know the truth if it jumped up and sunk its teeth in your a$$.


    I get it too (5.00 / 3) (#154)
    by jondee on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:52:32 AM EST
    Chip's one of those rare people with such a high degree of empathy for historically oppressed peoples that he's able to enter into their consciousness in any situation, even post-facto, and know exactly what they were thinking.

    That's how he knows that she was covering up something and not simply momentarily overwhelmed, frightened and stressed out about being confronted by a Southern cop barking orders at her.


    And, which answers the question (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 04:16:07 PM EST
    asked here yesterday as to why some people want to become cops.

    This from a comment related to a New York Times article in today's paper:

    "The way Brian Encinia deliberately escalated the incident with Sandra Bland is such a terribly typical example of how police everywhere abuse their power,  

    I suspect the main reason behind most people deciding they want to be police is they want to have the power to push people around."



    It's not about the cigarette. (5.00 / 4) (#136)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:18:02 AM EST
    It's certainly not about smoking. It's in no way an endorsement of smoking.

    If you bothered to read the excerpt, or read the ruling in the case cited, you'd know that it's about the stop itself, and whether there was cause to extend it beyond the alleged traffic violation.  

    Not that you'd ever figure that out on your own, seeing as how your focus is on just making things up.

    Seriously, you should consider changing your screen name to Tommy Flanagan, and attending more meetings. "Yeah, that's the ticket."  


    cigarette (1.00 / 3) (#143)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:25:50 AM EST
    It's not about the cigarette.

    Surely thou jest --

    Did you even read your excerpt that you posted. It's "cigarette ... cigarette ... cigarette" from start to finish:

    By the time Encinia asks Bland to put out her cigarette ... over the argument about the cigarette ... after she declined to extinguish her cigarette ... but cigarette smoking is legal... that the cigarette presented a potential safety concern ... The officer never gives Bland a direct order to extinguish the cigarette -- his exact words to her are "you mind putting out your cigarette, please, if you don't mind?" ...

    You should read before posting, put out that cigarette, and quit trying to blow smoke. It's only blowing back in your face.  


    The material I excerpted was about (5.00 / 4) (#146)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:52:12 AM EST
    whether the officer had unlawfully or unreasonably extended the traffic stop; it was a discussion about a Supreme Court case that ruled on that very issue.

    The cigarette was where he may have crossed that line, and to that extent, the cigarette plays a role.  But you seemed to want to make this about progressives and their attitudes about smoking changing because this particular individual was smoking a cigarette.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but my focus isn't on the pros and cons of smoking, it isn't about whether I approve or disapprove of people smoking.  That's what you wanted to make of the whole thing, wanting to slam progressives for some reason, and in that respect, you completely missed the point.

    As you will with this response. As usual.


    If It Wasn't a Direct Order... (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:33:10 AM EST
    ...why did he flip out and threaten to light her up with a taser ?

    Safety ?  He was so concerned for his and others safety that he was going to give her a warning.  

    Not to point out the obvious, but his superiors clearly disagree with his actions.  And yet here we are 1001 Fox viewers telling us why everyone is wrong but the cop who flipped out over a cigarette.

    The agency said in a statement that the officer who stopped Bland's car on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas was assigned to administrative duties after the DPS "identified violations of the department's procedures regarding traffic stops and the department's courtesy policy."

    Here is my pie in the sky guess (5.00 / 4) (#155)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:53:16 AM EST
    at why Encinia "flipped out."

    I think he got his ego got hurt, starting from when, from his perspective, he was gallantly letting her off the hook by only giving her a warning, but when he asked her what was wrong, her perfectly honest and factual answer (shorter version: "You are what caused me to commit the infraction, and the infraction itself is completely ridiculous and ticky tacky.") made him feel like a sh1theel (which he certainly proved to be true) and/or she was not appropriately grateful to him.

    Ya, the above paragraph is me simply making stuff up. Regardless, I think that's at least part of what when down.


    I Agree 100%.. (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 01:13:46 PM EST
    ...and would add there is a side of propaganda from the anti-smoking nazis.

    We used to smoke on planes, not one went down because of a cigarette, but today, apparently, smoking in one's own car can easily be sold to the public as something dangerous to a cop, because cigarettes are the GD devil.

    I don't smoke, but I used to.

    Warnings are about as rare as unicorns, these days, and along your lines, I think he wanted some praise for a good deed, not the truth about what really happened.

    When I think about, we are so conditioned to cops being total a-holes and authoritarians, we kiss their @sses in hopes that they might actually do the humane thing.  We should not have to, nor should we fear the police and go into panic mode when there are lights behind us.  That is just so wrong.

    But I like my freedom and dollars, so 'yes sir/mam' and 'what hoops need jumping through, officer'.


    I don't think people like Encinio (none / 0) (#156)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 12:15:50 PM EST
    appreciate it when others reveal that he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  I will leave it to others to opine as to whether the fact that it was a black woman doing the revealing made a difference.

    The Marshall Project has the transcript
    of one end of the conversation between Encinio and someone - I'm assuming it was someone in charge - about what Encinio was going to put in his report.


      I mean I don't have serious bodily injury.


        You know, but I, but I was kicked.

        Assault is if...right, assault is if a person commits [an offense of?] intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another... You intentionally threaten [another imminent bodily injury?], including the person's [?].


        She's in the back of the car right now. She never [requested EMS?].

        She said, she said I, I threw her down intentionally. For nothing.

        I said, "All right, I put you down because you kicked me, you're fighting back, you know."

        And I kept telling her to calm down, calm down.

        Evading arrest or detention [is a person?] commits an offense if he, if he intentionally --

        Oh, resisting arrest...[?]

        Quotation: If they are...the person commits a offense if they intentionally prevent or obstruct a person [he knows?] a peace officer or a person acting as a peace officer from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation.


        She was detained.

        That's, that's the key, that's why I'm calling you and asking because...she was detained, okay, and once she started, uh, and that's when I was walking over to the car, just to calm her down, you know, and just, stop, and that's when she started kicking me, so, I mean, I...

        I don't know if it would be resist, or if it would be, uh, assault, you know...

        I kind of lean toward assault, versus arrest -- resist -- because... I mean technic -- technically she's under arrest when the traffic stop is initiated. That's a lawful, you know, you're stopped, you're not free to go.

        I didn't say, "You're under arrest." I never said, you know, "Stop, hands up!"

        Correct, that did not occur.

        There was just the assault [?].

        Like I said, uh, after I get it all situated, and, and, uh, buttoned up, to as far as getting her in a, a safe vehicle -- under arrest, uh, and that's why I'm calling you.

        And like I said, if it's something like this, I, I just call you immediately, after I get to a safe stopping point.

        I mean, no weapons, she's in handcuffs, you know, I, I took the lesser of the uh -- I only took enough... force as I...see necessary. I even de-escalated once we were on the pavement, you know, on the sidewalk.

        So I allowed time -- I'm, I'm not saying I just threw her to the ground, I mean, I allowed time...to de-escalate, and, and, and so forth... It just kept being --


        I'm -- right, I just -- making it clear.


        No, I mean, I got some cuts on my hand, that's, I mean I guess it is an injury, but I'm not, I don't need medical attention, you know, I'm just a little... I got three little circles, from I guess the handcuffs when I was, when she was twisting away from me...

        You know, over a, over a simple traffic stop.

        Yeah I don't get it, I really don't.

    Curious to know if this, spoken by Encinio, is true:

    technically she's under arrest when the traffic stop is initiated.

    This just does not seem like it could be correct.


    Anne, an important correction (none / 0) (#162)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 01:26:52 PM EST
    in the otherwise correct transcript: Encinia clearly says "She requested EMS". The Marshall Project has been informed and will correct.

    "potential safety concern" (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 02:51:26 PM EST
    Just another poor little innocent Officer Friendly.

    All he's got to protect himself, other than overwhelming physical strength and combat training, is a two foot maglight, a two and a half foot club, a Taser, pepper spray, 17 rounds in his 9mm plus a few spare clips.  And, if he's not to scared to remember where he parked his "cruiser," a shotgun.

    All to protect himself against a tiny little cigarette.


    It's like a giant, blooming onion ... (5.00 / 5) (#194)
    by Yman on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:07:53 PM EST
    ... of stupidity.  You think you've heard the most ridiculous, scurrilous claims, but then you keep reading and hit another layer ...

    ... and another ...

    ... and another ...


    Now that's a pretty good argument (none / 0) (#137)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:51:53 AM EST
      Rodriguez (which is a very recent case) deals with an issue that is conceptually distinct from whether an officer can order an occupant exit a vehicle without particularizes grounds.

      Prior to Rodriguez many courts employed a "de minimis" standard to answering whether a delay of a routine stop was unreasonable. (I've had cases where I was distinguishing this many minutes from that many minutes and instant circumstances from those in prior cases). Now any unnecessary delay occasioned by the cop is considered unreasonable.

      I think one could make an argument that the cop delaying the stop when she refused to extinguish the cigarette was unnecessary (I don't thik the time the actual request took would be considered a delay, taking it that far a simple "how are you today?" could be a delay.

      The cop didn't just proceed to complete the process when she refused. so one could argue it became an unreasonable delay when he didn't just let it go.

       The thing is, where does get us? Were that argument to prevail then any evidence (contraband, statements made, etc.) beyond the point of unreasonable extension would be inadmissible against her and a motion to suppress should be granted. that's beside the point here.

      The question is whether if a court were to find she was being unlawfully detained at the point she allegedly struck the officer, her arrest based on that alleged act was unlawful.

      There are internet pundits  (mostly 2nd Amendment/ anti-government types who assert a person has the right to use force to resist an unlawful arrest, but really that is limited to resisting excessive force during the arrest not the mere act of wrongfully detaining or taking a person into custody.

      Which kind of puts us back to the starting point with regard to the stop (what did or didn't happen in jail is a different question)-- did the cop use excessive force in the portions we can't see? If so she was entitle to defend. If not she wasn't and her arrest for that would likely be found lawful even if it occurred during an unreasonable delay.



    Not following (none / 0) (#144)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:35:08 AM EST
    how can her arrest be lawful w/r/t to assaulting an officer if as you note

    a court were to find she was being unlawfully detained at the point she allegedly struck the officer, her arrest based on that alleged act was unlawful

    Detention and arrest (none / 0) (#150)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:21:57 AM EST
      are not synonymous.

      One is detained if a reasonable person in that position considering the totality of circumstances would not feel free to leave.

      Ms. Bland was clearly detained at the point she was pulled over. Nobody feels free just to drive away when a cop pulls them over.

      Arrest is a more formal action. It's not entirely clear to me with all the yelling and off-camera action at what precise point she was arrested but she was not arrested when she allegedly assaulted the cop merely detained.

       My point is whether or not the detention at that instant she allegedly struck the officer was lawful or unlawful, she only has the right to use force to defend/resist against unlawful (excessive, unreasonable) force being used by the officer. So, one can be lawfully arrested for an action that occurred during an unlawful detention.

      An example might help. Cop pulls you over without any probable cause or reasonable suspicion whatsoever and proceeds to verbally  harangue and berate you, but does not use or threaten physical force. You shoot him. The fact he was acting unlawfully (illegally detaining you) would not be a valid defense and your arrest for the shooting would be a valid one even if at the very moment of arrest it was known you were illegally detained..


    Thank You (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 12:26:07 PM EST
    for the clarification

    from the transcript (none / 0) (#163)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 01:36:11 PM EST
    Encinio and the Sergeant confuse arrest/detain as they discuss how to charge her:

    "I kind of lean toward assault, versus arrest -- resist -- because... I mean technic -- technically she's under arrest when the traffic stop is initiated. That's a lawful, you know, you're stopped, you're not free to go."

    ianal, but is seems to me that a cop (none / 0) (#147)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:00:40 AM EST
    who's standing in the roadway at the driver's window during a traffic stop can order the driver to exit the vehicle (for whatever reason) and then, if necessary, justify that order as providing for the cop's safety (it's safer for the cop to do his thing with the driver when the cop is standing on the shoulder of the road vs him standing out in the roadway) regardless of whether that is the real reason he gave the driver the order.

    and more dangerous to the driver (none / 0) (#164)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 01:39:30 PM EST
    because it is outside the frame of the dashboard camera!

    What is the Point... (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 04:15:00 PM EST
    ...of body cameras for cops when half the country can't see a video and say, 'That cops was out of line', when a cop is clearly out of line.  So much so his cop superiors state so.

    Are we so desensitized from police misconduct, that a cop shouting "I am going to light you up' and stating 'good' after an suspect tells the police they have epilepsy, is perfectly acceptable behavior from the people who are tasked to keep order in society.

    It's depressing to see the idiot brigade jump through hoop after hoop defending the indefensible.  This is not what a country based on laws and not personalities should accept as tolerable behavior from it's policing class.

    It will be nice once this dies down and they go away, but even more depressing, they will be back w/i a month, the next time a cop jacks up some black person over a traffic stop and they are drawn here like a month to light to defend the indefensible, once again.  They screech about high taxes, but another multi-million dollar check will be cut to the family of the deceased, courtesy of us taxpayers, and even that won't change any minds.

    NYPD Paid Nearly $1 Billion To Settle Lawsuits

    That is $100,000,000 a year for 10 years straight.

    At the very lest, we haven't blocked civil courts from serving black people and Bland's family will get paid, because no matter how loud they beat the drum s of hatred, and keep these cops on the streets, her family and many other black families will get paid by the very people who that defend the police, it's just too bad for the rest of us, who understand injustice, share the liabilities they create.

    End of lecture, vacation has arrived, peace out.

    because honestly (none / 0) (#173)
    by CST on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 04:28:44 PM EST
    It matters more what the cop superiors and people in court think than it matters what "half the country" (and I don't think it's that high) thinks.

    They may be loud, but their arguments won't hold up in court.



    Well, the cop superiors (none / 0) (#186)
    by sj on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 07:23:41 PM EST
    and people in court (I assume you mean criminal court, as in prosecutors and grand juries and stuff) agree with the loudmouths.

    At least that's how it seems to me. Otherwise the civil settlements wouldn't be so high.

    Maybe their arguments won't hold up in criminal court either, but first it has to get there.

    I do have one other thought/question, though. Somewhere -- and I don't even know if it was here at TL -- a commenter made a statement indicating the job metrics of performance for a LEO was number of arrests. That arrests and citations showed they are doing their jobs.

    I know citations are a metric (no matter how many times PDs deny it, there are [anecdotally] more written at the end of the month). I can tell you that the usual speed traps on my way to work are more frequently manned at the end of the month.

    But are number of arrests a metric? If so, whatever happened to keeping the peace and crime prevention? In fact, what happened to the beat cop who became a part of the neighborhood? When did that go away? Or was it just a fantasy that never existed?


    A number of civilians carefully watching (none / 0) (#200)
    by Palli on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:25:59 PM EST
    have recognized an offending profile from data collected thus far.

    One significant data point is the number of citizen complaints about the officer's conduct. These are often anger management issues, but police records also show multiple serious instances of excessive use of force and also unnecessary discourteous language or actions.

    There is a wealth of information in PD files. Police body camera video and dash cams is collected daily (but not always retrieved or stored). That would be informative for research or supervision and hiring purposes. Police unions have laid policy that either disallows their use or controls the uses that can be applied.

    SJ, to answer your final questions. The beat cop went away with patrol cars and urban white flight. Most municipalities do not require officers to live in the city, village or even county. Racist housing segregation was a principle element of FHA bank loans and the development of suburbs 60 years ago.


    I just saw some prosecutor (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 05:42:21 PM EST
    local I think, asked a question about the pot in her system.

    He said pot is an hallucinatory drug and if if showed up in her system her judgement was impaired no matter how long it had been.  

    This is a ridiculous statement.  It is either shockingly ignorant or intentionally meant to mislead and smear her.

    SITE VIOLATOR #203 (5.00 / 0) (#204)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 26, 2015 at 05:40:36 PM EST

    Sorry she died, but (2.60 / 5) (#10)
    by Jodi on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 04:54:54 AM EST
    her past history indicates a troubled individual and a real menace on the road.

    Something like 10 citations on the road over the last 10 years.

    I wish I knew how to put in a url but this is the best I can do.

    https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1770284_The_Sandra_Bland_Suicide_in_Waller_County_TX_Jail___A_Summ ary.html&page=2&anc=bottom#bottom

    watch the dash cam video (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:09:40 AM EST
    No, no, you don't get it, Mo (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:30:26 PM EST
    She was "a REAL menace on the road."

    Death was too good for her.

    I dunno, maybe there really are enough Trump voters out there.


    Jodi (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 08:33:41 PM EST

    THE WEBSITE and thread you cite is


    ar15.com the Home of The Black Rifle; "Your Firearm Resource"

    The Forum topic thread is disgusting and, although contributors  proport "facts", the correct spelling of Sandra Bland's name is the only one I detected.


    10 citations in 10 years (4.20 / 5) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:01:16 PM EST
    One per year. The horror. Definitely grounds  to  impose a death penalty without a trial.

    She went through stop sign too (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CityLife on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:24:41 AM EST
    Look how she went through the stop sign here at this point: youtu.be/ZbAGPLWhwxI?t=6

    Right from the start she was apparently acting strange because the trooper says "what's wrong?" If she acted like a normal person she would have just have gotten a warning.

    I don't think it was wrong for the cop to ask her to put out the cigarette, for example if it is out then she can't throw a lit cigarette at his face and at that point she was already acting strange. Also not at the beginning she thinks she handed him her license but hadn't.

    Also, a normal person who realized they did not signal would try to play it cool in hopes of not getting a ticket. She didn't even give him a chance to only issue her a warning, she already was nasty and already told him he was giving her a ticket!


    She went through a stop sign too?? (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:35:29 PM EST
    Make that TWO death penalties!!

    I don't understand why she flipped out (none / 0) (#50)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:32:25 PM EST
    It was as if she was trying to get arrested.

    Where does she go through a stop sign?  


    The cop escalated (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:19:10 PM EST
    the whole thing.  He asked her if she were agitated over getting a ticker....She said yes.  And so on....

    The cop baited her and escalated at every step.


    follow up of original history of Bland: (2.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Jodi on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:14:43 AM EST
    Still a fail on URL. Look up "nbcchicago" "Suburban-Woman-Found-Dead-in-Jail"

    Pulling her over (2.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:11:36 AM EST
    for not signalling before a lane change was a bit much, but all she was going to get was a warning. All she had to do was put out her cigarette and shut up.

    This woman clearly got out of her vehicle with a "screw u cop" attitude -- and that is a  recipe for handcuffing, which she then also resisted.

    So then she is languishing in jail 3 days later waiting for her family in Chicago to come up with the $5,000 bond to get out of there.

    What was taking so long?

    Is it possible that her family was balking at coming up with the bond money since they had been tapped out by her habitual run-ins with the police?

    Had she been told that the family couldn't or wouldn't be coming up with the bond this time and she was going to have to deal with it herself?

    That bad news would depress an already depressed person.

    She was found hanging with a trash bag around her neck from a partition in a cell with an open door covered by a video camera.

    Tragic as it may be, all evidence points to death by her own hand.  

    So in Your Mind... (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:17:54 AM EST
    ...a cop has the right to tell you not to smoke in your own car ?

    Please site the Texas Law that prohibits smoking in your own car.

    Right, the cop was the instigator and yet she is to blame.  People shouldn't get mad at unreasonable orders from cops.  Nor should cops ever be held accountable when they get agitated and unreasonable.  It's the fault of the person who didn't want to take their BS.

    For the record, the video released had been altered.  Twice things appear out of nowhere, one being the tow truck driver, the other being a white car.

    But the cops didn't do anything wrong, they edited for our benefit ?


    from reading other comments (none / 0) (#44)
    by ding7777 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:54:05 AM EST
    it seems that an officer can ask you to put out a cigarette if its a potential threat to his safety

    Please Source (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:06:36 PM EST
    He can ask you to take off your pants to, doesn't mean he has the right to.

    Something official, maybe Texas statute, police policy, something beyond a giant maybe.


    A $5,000 grand bond (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:20:33 PM EST
    for not signaling a lane change?

    No... (none / 0) (#74)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:36:25 PM EST
    ...that is why it wouldn't surprise me if she killed herself.  They charged her with assaulting a cop, which I would imagine would be an end to her new job and all the ramifications of having that on her record.  I believe he stated she kicked him when she was on the ground.

    No sure if that is a felony in Texas, but it is serious.


    From the link that Uncle Chip posted, (none / 0) (#78)
    by vml68 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 04:20:04 PM EST
    it appears that Sandra Bland was arrested and taken to jail in Nov'13. IF that is accurate, I can't imagine why this arrest would cause her to kill herself. I would imagine a black university would totally understand if she explained that she "assaulted" the cop because she was being threatened.

    While she was well within her rights to be irritated/angry/confrontational with the cop, I cannot fathom why she behaved that way. And, that too with a cop in Texas! Did she miss the stories that have been all over the news about black people and cops? I would have thought the basic instinct of self-preservation would have kicked in the minute she was pulled over. I am of course making a big assumption that the situation would have ended differently had she been compliant.


    Agreed Somewhat... (none / 0) (#81)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 04:45:08 PM EST
    ...I don't think a cop has the right to ask you to put out your cigarette in your own car, but if one asked me to, it would be out, with a 'yes sir'.

    But I once seriously chewed out a state trooper who had pulled me over, like I should have went to jail because I freaked out, and he just left.

    Background, there was a stalled car at major intersection, and my options were to sit behind him, or get in the left turn lane knowing I would go straight and hold up people turning left.  We had all waited for like 30 mins to get to this point.  It was Houston and after work and I waited for a couple light changes and realized that car isn't going anywhere.

    Anyways, I got in the left turn lane, but didn't move with the left turn green light.  It was easily 5 miles out of my way as I would have had to go around an airport.  Well a guy behind me was not happy, he got out screaming at me and then started punching my drivers side window.  I bet he hit it 10 times.  I am a big guy and can throw down a bit, but I am not fighting anyone that insane, especially in my work attire.  No way he didn't break his hand.  

    Back to the State Patrol, maybe 2 mins later I get pulled over, I chewed his @ss for pulling me over while chaos was ensuing right down the road.  I layed it on it him.  My adrenaline was off the charts, I was visibly shaking from the whole mess.

    To the Troopers credit, he did not take me downtown, he sped off to in the direction of the scene.

    totally different than what she did, but you know cops have to realize we have bad days and sometimes people who are normally nice, are just plain @ssholes for no other reason than life kicked you that day.

    Being arrested is one thing, assaulting a cop is a whole different cup of tea.  Maybe the university would have been cool, but who knows what she was thinking, 'I moved here and first thing I am going to lose my job, have this on my record, need money for an attorney...'  Who knows.  I didn't say she killed herself, only that it would not surprise me if she did, especially since she had a head wound, that could have really messed with her rationalization, and who the F knows what the cops were saying to her.

    The point, which I did not make, is she should not have been in jail to begin with.  Regardless if she did it, it was an accident, or the cops did it, she would be alive today if a cop didn't overreact to a person smoking a cig in their own vehicle.


    I am assuming that you are not black (none / 0) (#83)
    by Zorba on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:01:26 PM EST
    Am I correct?  And how long ago did this occur?

    Yes... (none / 0) (#139)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:11:22 AM EST
    ...I am very Caucasian.  And I understand these things and exactly how lucky I was.  I also think it was obvious that I was frantic.  I didn't leave even after he pulled away.  I remember looking around and thinking what the F did I just do, then I noticed I had pulled over in the middle of a gas station lot and everyone was looking at me.

    It would have been a case of I know exactly why I am sitting there waiting to get bailed out and I would have called myself an idiot over and over.  It was really dumb.

    5 years ago, probably.


    I don't know about your state, (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by Zorba on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:19:23 AM EST
    But at least here, we generally find the State Troopers (with some minor exceptions) to be much more reasonable, and more professional, than the county sheriffs or the city or town police.  Maybe they get more training, or better screening, or whatever.

    I think in general (none / 0) (#149)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:21:51 AM EST
    they definitely do.  I personally know of a person who was rejected by the state police twice (likely for failing the psyche test) and keeps a job for the county sheriff.

    Texas, Maybe an Hour... (none / 0) (#158)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 12:27:05 PM EST
    ...from Waller.

    Here is the thing, I have no idea what a State Trooper actually does, but the guy is on desk duty in part for violating the departments courtesy policy.  Never knew any department had such a thing.  But it has been my experience that Troopers in numerous states, are very professional group, sans this guy.

    We have Rangers, Troopers, Constables, Sheriffs, County Cops, and City Cops.  I know what county and city cops do, but beyond traffic stops I have no idea where everyone else fits in.

    Rangers get it on the high profile cases, like escapes.  But I have only ever seen Troopers at accidents and pulling over traffic violators.  I know they do other things, but since I am rarely in the middle of an investigation, no idea what separates a state crime, from a county crime, from a city crime, or rather what determines who is the authority to investigate.

    I do know this, I got a disorderly conduct once, and they bumped it up to a state offense, which is more severe and requited me being transported from city jail to county for processing, which took about 15 mins, then I was released.

    My crime at 16, refusing to give fingerprints on an underage drinking.  


    I totally agree she should not have been (none / 0) (#91)
    by vml68 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:35:58 PM EST
    in jail. At the beginning of the video the cop seemed fine. In fact, I thought he was being considerate when he asked her if she was okay. So, it was a little jarring when he suddenly got crazy about the cigarette. It seemed, to me at least, very strange that he was only going to give her a warning and instead he ends up telling her to step out of the car because she won't put the cigarette out. Made no sense to me at all.

    I have had more than my fair share of run-ins with the cops and have always been treated professionally. Like you, I had one incident where I went off on the cop and lucky for me, he kept his cool and kept telling me to calm down. This was years ago and I would never be so foolish now.
    My brother who lives in SC, is very dark skinned (darker than most blacks in this country) and has also been treated professionally by cops. So, I know there are good cops out there. I wish all of them were like the ones we've run into.


    Uncle Chip (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 08:58:57 PM EST
    You relate a story of her death that has been changed by Waller Co LE. Keep up, you have at least two other versions before we might get to the truth.

    Well, I take one little day off to play some (2.00 / 3) (#145)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:36:47 AM EST
    poker and miss one of the best kerfunkles around.

    My thanks to Reconstructionist and SNU for some good points.

    And to Chip for the MJ issue. Anybody got a link??

    And just a thought. If you kick a police officer you're probably gonna get treated poorly.

    And a round of applause to the usual suspects who fail to recognize that if she had just smiled and followed instructions nothing else would have happened...except...maybe...a ticket for failure to signal.

    "I'd rather be right" is position I have long since learned to be careful using.

    Is there another poker day (5.00 / 4) (#170)
    by sj on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 03:45:45 PM EST
    coming up soon?

    And a round of applause to you, too (4.50 / 2) (#195)
    by Yman on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:13:54 PM EST
    For the finger pointing and completely missing the point ... as usual.

    And your point is what?? (none / 0) (#198)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:28:53 PM EST
    It appears to me that she was pulled over for violating a law and instead of being polite and following instructions she escalated the situation.



    I (none / 0) (#152)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:42:16 AM EST
    would soooo love to play poker with you, could probably quit my day job. You would probably "just smile" and pretend your pair of deuces is a straight flush.

    No Way... (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 12:45:16 PM EST
    He is the guy who knows "It's not a lie if you believe it".  Substitute 'bluff' for 'lie'.

    The guy has convinced himself global warming is a myth, and you think you can compete with that level of dementia ?

    When someone can say and defend killing children, you think he can't rattle the entire table.  He does it here every day.  There are people waiting to take his bait, and you aren't going to go for it at the table ?


    Don't confuse stupidity with cunningness, I bet he can out play most at the table.  He outplays most here, including myself, not because he is right, but because we know for a fact he is wrong, day in and day out, and yet he manages to pull nearly everyone into his inanity as some point.


    Scott, it is easy to out fox you (2.00 / 1) (#193)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:16:50 PM EST
    because you just make things up. I have never denied that the climate is changing. The issue is what is the cause. I have never denied that the climate has not warmed. But there is evidence that it has plateaued for the past 20 years or so.

    And you flat out lie by ommission when you bring up the deaths of men, women and children. You do so by not noting that I say that the Palestinians who put them with the weapons and weapon sites that are used to attack Israel. They use their own people as human shields. They are responsible, not the people who are responding to the rocket attacks.

    But you won't admit that.

    So if you want to be respected trying telling the truth.

    FlJoe...sj.... Sorry. I don't play poker with people I dislike or with people I don't think can afford to loose... You two would probably want to change the rules....lol


    It looks like she committed suicide (none / 0) (#3)
    by McBain on Tue Jul 21, 2015 at 10:54:28 PM EST
    Is anyone saying this was murder?

    What "looks" like she committed suicide? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:47:03 AM EST
    And did you watch the video? If so, notice anything off with it?

    Oh, that's an easy one: (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 06:03:17 AM EST
    To some commenters, whenever there's a conflict between the police, and, a dark skinned suspect, the police version of events always "looks like" the correct one.

    If you believe she killed herself (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Tue Jul 21, 2015 at 11:00:06 PM EST
    I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to shown you when you have some time........

    Why do you think it was murder? (none / 0) (#5)
    by McBain on Tue Jul 21, 2015 at 11:14:55 PM EST
    The officer who pulled Bland (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jul 21, 2015 at 11:42:43 PM EST
    over also pulled her from the car and slammed her into the ground. In the video she can be heard yelling about hitting her head.

    It seems possible that she sustained an injury to her head, perhaps a brain bleed, that caused her death.

    I do not know if that would be considered murder by the police officer who thfrew her to the ground, but it certsinly is not suicide.


    So the description of the (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:24:50 AM EST
    circumstances when her body was discovered  three days post-arrest in the detention facility is inaccurate?

    It's possible (none / 0) (#8)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:43:23 AM EST
    which story do you refer to (none / 0) (#13)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:05:43 AM EST
    See My Comment Above... (none / 0) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:37:12 AM EST
    ...the video they released was altered, the investigation is a murder investigation.  Beyond the head injury, she also had epilepsy, which she tells the cop, and he responds 'good'.

    I'm more interested in the video of (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:14:27 AM EST
    her jail cell.  She didn't die on the side of the road next to her car.  She died 3 days later in her cell.  The police claim they have video that proves no one came in or out of that cell before she was found dead.  Has that been verified?  

    The traffic stop is probably going to be irrelevant to her death.  


    If the traffic stop video turns out to be edited (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by CST on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:17:53 AM EST
    It will throw some doubt on the validity of the video in jail.

    I'm still trying to figure out the murder (none / 0) (#38)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:21:55 AM EST

    Are people claiming a bad traffic stop resulted in a cop doing something so bad that his department decided to kill this woman so she couldn't talk?


    No (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by CST on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:26:25 AM EST
    People are claiming that a bad traffic stop resulted in a woman being in jail when she shouldn't have been.  Something else then happened in jail.  Whether she was killed or not and the potential motive is still under investigation.  It's possible that something else happened in those three days, we don't know.  We do know that she is dead.  

    We know that at the very least the cops acted inappropriately during the arrest and withheld information on the arrest report and possibly altered the dashcam video.  That throws into doubt the statements coming from law enforcement on the entire matter.


    video. The video does loop several times in the aftermath of the arrest, however it does not seem that the audio loops, which makes you wonder.

    Did they release a purposely edited video?

    If I'm not mistaken the jail video was released due to the national brouhaha. It is possible that Texas tried to pull a fast one by releasing an edited jail video, but that would seem a really risky gambit, imo.

    Were both videos edited with the intent to deceive?

    I would think a quick look at the hard drives of both recorders would indicate whether the released videos were edited or not.


    A couple of things (none / 0) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 04:15:35 PM EST
    sorry if they have been mentioned I refuse to read through the comments in this thread.

    She tells the cop she is epileptic.  The cops says "good"

    It's been mentioned he spent quite a while alone with her information.   I suspect the fact that she was a Black Lives Matter activist was part of what he was discussing with his comrades.


    epileptic conversation? Other than more proof of what a d-bag the officer was?

    What exactly is a BLM activist as it relates to Bland? I've googled around and she is sometimes referred to as a BLM activist, but I can find no info on what she did to get that label.

    Here is some more info from Time that I just found:

    Bland indicated she had attempted suicide at least once in the past year

    Sandra Bland--the African-American woman whose mysterious and sudden death in a Waller County, Tex. jail last week after a traffic stop has incited controversy--told jailers that she had previously attempted suicide, according to information from a closed meeting with Waller County officials on Tuesday.

    On a form, Bland indicated that she had attempted suicide over the past year, apparently due to the loss of a baby. At the time of her arrest, however, Bland indicated that she did not feel suicidal. Her mental history remains "a little bit fuzzy," Rep. Sylvester Turner told The Houston Chronicle.

    Authorities should have put a greater watch on Bland after learning of her suicide attempt, Turner said, illustrating "the need to make sure we provide the care and the interventions for people who are having a behavioral and mental health issues when people are coming into our county jail system."

    Nevermind, I think I found it. (none / 0) (#84)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:08:48 PM EST
    Bland was a self-styled civil rights activist, known for Facebook videos she called "Sandy Speaks" featuring her observations on race in the United States.

    Sandra Bland (none / 0) (#108)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 08:52:36 PM EST
    She was well known in Waller Co as a student activist during the demonstrations Waller Co. rescinded voting rights for PVAMU students who resided in the county but maintained an addition address with parents in other states. This was a huge Voting Rights challenge in college communities throughout the nation and particularly in racist Waller Co. You might remember other extremes employed to prevent President Barak Obama's second term.

    "Murder" (none / 0) (#14)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:07:52 AM EST
      is a specific form of homicide. Here are the homicide provisions of the state code.

       This COULD (We don't know what happened0 raise some very interesting legal issues. One scenario is that the cop injured her and had she received appropriate medical care likely would have survived  but was denied such care.


      (2)  intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual;  ...

      This section could potentially apply to the cop at the stop.

      There might though be a question of whether, even if it is found he intended to cause serious bodily injury and committed an act clearly dangerous to human life, that act caused the death or whether a intervening/superseding cause of others acting independently of the stop cop depriving her of medical attention caused death.

       Then you have the other, lesser forms of homicide which could potentially apply to some or all of the involved, accomplice liability and conspiracy to commit, etc.


    The District Attorney (none / 0) (#34)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:55:54 AM EST
    Bland refused medical care (none / 0) (#41)
    by ding7777 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:41:30 AM EST
    An emergency medical technician was called to the scene, but Bland refused treatment

    Please Source (none / 0) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:43:49 AM EST
    medical check-up was declined (none / 0) (#75)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 03:20:55 PM EST
    From the Daily Mail

    Her death at the Waller County jail in Hempstead ... was ruled a suicide by the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office.

    Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said on Monday he would investigate the incident as a homicide....

    Captain Brian Cantrell, head of the sheriff's department criminal investigation division, said a guard checked with Bland about two hours before she was found dead and Bland told her, 'I'm fine'....

    Mathis also said jail records show Bland was offered a medical checkup but declined.

    One unanswered question: Had her $5,000 Bond been paid or not?


    Before, or, after (none / 0) (#92)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:40:13 PM EST
    she was suicided?

    Lawd, hep me.


    Lawd hep me (none / 0) (#97)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 06:32:17 PM EST
    Lawd to the rescue --

    Per CBS News tonight, the family has backed off the murder claim and is now saying that the jail should have knowd that she was suicidal and done more to stop her.

    Of course the family knew that she was suicidal and they could have come up with the $5,000 Bond to get her out of there -- but they didn't.


    She Checked 'Yes'... (none / 0) (#141)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:14:47 AM EST
    ...in the past suicide attempts box, which to me is very odd, as I would never check yes, even if that is something I had did.  It's non of their GD business to ask such a question, and clearly they didn't use the information if this was a suicide.

    cross posted from Tues Open Thread (none / 0) (#17)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:13:40 AM EST
    Classic Racial Law Enforcement out of the 60's (none / 0) (#27)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:09:39 AM EST

    Waller County, as much of East Texas, is notoriously racist and dangerous for Black citizens. Law enforcement there is age old Homeland Terrorism. Prairie View A&M University is an important an Historically Black school (HBUC) and the students and faculty/staff have been on the forefront of the Voting Rights Movements for 4 decades. Sandra Bland was known to the sheriff's department from her college days. Few should doubt she was targeted at her return.
    State investigators ruled Officer Brian Encinio broke numerous procedures and the stop was illegally conducted. A Waller Co. dash cam video has been released to the public and appears to be clumsily edited. But it is shocking just the same. At 15:00 min. mark Encinio tells Sandra Bland she is going to jail for resisting arrest for a warning. The Officer's "affidavit" on the arrest is incorrect and incomplete when compared to dash can. There is apparently no USE of FORCE Report, although the autopsy speaks of deep bruises on her back muscles.
    http://tinyurl.com/WallerDashcam (this is the edit analysis)

    She was jailed in a cell with 5 other women but at some point in her 5 day stay she was removed and placed in a empty cell in the rear near an outside exit door that was out of surveillance camera range. (The camera was timed to motion activated.)

    Anyone aware of civil rights history in Texas knows Waller County and recognizes the death of Sandra Bland as jailhouse murder.

    Perhaps they are (none / 0) (#33)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:53:38 AM EST
    Perhaps they are

    The texas department of people who are inexperienced with Flash or other video editing software . . .
    and who do not bother to proofread their work?

    I've got videos produced by duplicating portions and I've none like this produced by a technical glitch!


    it's kind of sad (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:25:55 AM EST
    when you automatically know who is going to comment what on these things - and I don't just mean here.

    The entire country seems camped in either "cops are always wrong" or "black people always deserved it".  Never both, or neither.  One side or the other.  And I'm not really excluding myself on this.  It's just depressing.

    My opinion: Another senseless arrest leads to another senseless death.  Whatever the ultimate cause of death is, this didn't need to happen like this.

    Cops are not always wrong (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:33:52 AM EST
    But bad cops are dangerous and the Legacy of LE Racism is alive and well.

    you don't need to tell me (none / 0) (#20)
    by CST on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:41:22 AM EST
    see my opinion on the subject.  And I didn't mean in general - I meant on "these types of issues".

    Personally, I think if a person/suspect dies, then law enforcement didn't accomplish their job.  That doesn't make it their fault necessarily.  But that  is never the desired outcome, and all measures should be taken so that that doesn't occur.  With the number of people dying in this country in altercations with the police - they aren't doing a very good job.  And yes, I'd also say that sometimes it does rise to the level of "fault".  It's not completely clear if this is one of those times yet.  But it is clear that law enforcement didn't accomplish their job correctly, starting with the arrest video, and ending with her death in custody.


    you don't need to tell me (none / 0) (#21)
    by CST on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:42:29 AM EST
    see my opinion on the subject.  And I didn't mean in general - I meant on "these types of issues".

    Personally, I think if a person/suspect dies, then law enforcement didn't accomplish their job.  One of their jobs is to protect the public, including inmates and people in custody.  That doesn't make it their fault necessarily.  But death is never the desired outcome, and all measures should be taken so that that doesn't occur.  With the number of people dying in this country in altercations with the police - they aren't doing a very good job.  And yes, I'd also say that sometimes it does rise to the level of "fault".  It's not completely clear if this is one of those times yet.  But it is clear that law enforcement didn't accomplish their job correctly, starting with the arrest video, and ending with her death in jail.


    oops (none / 0) (#22)
    by CST on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:42:54 AM EST
    double comment, please delete

    Couple of things - in no particular order: (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:01:11 AM EST
    From the dash cam video, the road in question does not appear to be heavily traveled or congested, making the decision to pull this driver over for failing to signal a lane change pretty cheap, given that it doesn't seem like - and the officer never mentions - she put anyone in danger by not signaling.  Was there even anyone to signal in the lane she moved into?

    Why did the officer ask Bland if she was okay?  Was she driving erratically?  Doesn't seem so, since it wasn't mentioned as the reason he pulled her over.  

    Why did he ask her to put out her cigarette?  Was it because a lit cigarette represents a possible danger to the officer?  If so, why couldn't he have just said so?  Why not say, "I'm sorry, ma'am - I promise you can light up as soon as we're finished, but this is something I have to ask you to do for my protection.  Not that I think you're going to throw it at me, but a lit cigarette can end up hurting us both."  

    Why couldn't he have answered her questions?  "Why are you making me get out of the car?"  "Why am I being arrested?"  seem like questions that deserved answers.

    Out of view of the dash-cam, you can hear the officer telling her to stop moving, to stay in one place, and she says, "you're moving me."

    What makes people think that putting out the cigarette was "all" she needed to do in order to avoid everything that happened next?   It's easy to once again make this about "just do what they tell you and take it up with the authorities later," but I don't think that's always the answer.  What if you never have the chance to tell anyone or seek redress because you're dead?

    Yes, you can hear her challenging him, telling him she can't wait to tell the court how he's handled this; has it occurred to anyone that this was because she was scared he was going to do even worse than slam her head into the ground, possibly break or sprain her arm and put a knee in the middle of her back?  How do you decide whether it's better to submit to whatever you're ordered to do, or exercise your right to question what's happening to you?

    She was originally in a cell with other people, then moved to one in the back by herself that had limited surveillance. What prompted that move?  

    Another case where there are more questions than answers.  At this point, I have to believe that this kind of thing goes on much more frequently than we'd like to think, and it needs to stop.


    Speculation on my part: he (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:38:34 AM EST
    asked asked her if she okay and followed up with, you seem irritated, to bait her, having walked back to his vehicle and run her law enforcement and maybe Illinois DMV history. Why else was he in his vehicle so long?  

    re the cig . . (none / 0) (#30)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:38:59 AM EST
    I assume that he asked her to put out the cig as preliminary to his arresting her . . .  

    No argument (none / 0) (#23)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:52:28 AM EST
      with that observation.

      I will add though that even if the speculation of those defending the cops is accurate in many respects, that would not inexorably lead to the conclusion that no crime was committed by one or more police officers involved.

      a person being obnoxious  does not justify use of force by law enforcement. Even being combative only justifies use of reasonably necessary force. Even if the force employed was reasonably necessary under the circumstances failing to allow  an injured person to receive appropriate medical treatment is illegal. Even mere negligence in failing to ensure treatment (as opposed to intentionaly withholding access to care it was known should be provided) . From the link I posted above:

     MANSLAUGHTER.  (a)  A person commits an offense if he recklessly causes the death of an individual.
    (b)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree....

    Sec. 19.05.  CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE.  (a)  A person commits an offense if he causes the death of an individual by criminal negligence.

    (b)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony.


    Ha! (none / 0) (#31)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:43:34 AM EST
    Well, I hope that the positions I take on some of these things keeps you guessing . . . and my first post on this topic was to try to find out who can help us know if the video has been edited--I assume it would have been . . . videos get edited all the time and produce botched jobs such as we see here . . . and technical glitch usually produces, in or on my computers, a complete failure to show or view a video . . .

    as in error: file corrupt or error: file not found
    or error: unable to read file . . . or whatever it says . . .


    the editing (none / 0) (#26)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:25:27 AM EST
    we have the audio going forward normally and weird stuff being repeated in the visual portion . . .  That seems a bit weird.  Is it conclusive evidence of editing or of a technical glitch that the police are claiming caused it?

    by the way . . . (none / 0) (#27)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:34:50 AM EST
    I have taken the basic flash animation class at the local community college . . .  It seems like the most simple way to have created the video, as it currently exists, would be for someone to have intentionally edited it, by choosing some sections of the visual portion, duplicating them and inserting them back into the place that shows the visual .  . .  At least, editing the video so as to produce this result is something anyone with a basic class or two in flash could do, I think . . .  I don't think it happens accidentally.

    also (none / 0) (#32)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:46:15 AM EST
     it seemed to me that the cuts rather coincidentally came at critical stages of the encounter. Additionally,  the Dash Cam which was affixed to a stationary and unoccupied  vehicle seemed to mysteriously shifted focus to empty pavement at times.



    I am late but (none / 0) (#35)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:06:18 AM EST

    if you would, explain what critical parts of the encounter are not being shown due to edits or changes in perspective and view of the cam?

    I had not previously been paying much attention to this situation . . . people get arrested all the time  . . . and some of them die in jail and Texas is far away from Washington state and why would I pay attention . . .

    All I know is . . . she seems to have been arrested for being uncooperative and/or combative during an otherwise routine traffic stop that should have resulted in a warning . . . and she was dead 3 days later.

    And now I know that the video seems to be the work of idiots who did not practice very much with the editing software . . . cause I can barely produce these things and one of mine would have turned out better . . .


    Check these parts of video (none / 0) (#62)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:22:32 PM EST
    Waller County PD: Who altered the dashcam video? There are video cuts at:

    If someone had asked me to do it (none / 0) (#47)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:24:10 PM EST
    I would have used Premiere and possibly a pro audio program. (tools I'm familiar with) I also would have chosen not to have cars disappearing in the middle of the street, etc. If someone had given me a video that they had edited, and it looked like that, I would have told them to go back and clean it up as it was not ready for release/primetime. (as a creative director I'm kinda picky like that. . . )

    was it legal? (none / 0) (#42)
    by CityLife on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:42:29 AM EST

    I would like to know your thoughts on if asking her to put out out the cigarette was legal? Wasn't it reasonable since she was agitated and acting strange and hostile?

    And was his order to get out o the car legal?

    I don't know what the law says he should do after she refuses to do so.

    BTW, the black woman cop says she saw Sandra kick the trooper. Looks like Sandra turned a traffic warning into a confrontation. She also failed to single even before she was down the road, at the stop sign she runs through it looks like she didn't signal: Youtu.be/ZbAGPLWhwxI?t=6s

    ASKING her (none / 0) (#45)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:01:47 PM EST
     put out the cigarette is unquestionably legal.

      The issue is whether upon her refusal to comply he had grounds to ORDER her to exit the vehicle and then attempt to forcibly remove her when she refused that as well (here, it appears she eventually did exit the vehicle under her own power after the cop was unable to "yank" -- his word-- her out).

      State laws can vary but I don't think he would be found to have violated any right by ordering her to exit the vehicle. Upon her refusal, I think the question is did he act reasonably in light of her non-compliance. My personal opinion is he did not respond with excessive force at that stage of the encounter. It does appear that when she became combative (I believe I see her swinging or flailing when he touches her) he merely continued attempting to extricate at first not striking or delivering blows and he appears to have held back when he realized she or he might get hurt if he kept pulling.

       My thought is what happened later  when we can't see and whether his use of force at that time was reasonably  proportional and thus lawful.

      Obviously, for reasons we will never know, she made some bad choices during the encounter and was obnoxious and irrational. That doesn't relive cops of the duty to employ only such force as is reasonably necessary.


    I think her exiting the car had something (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:54:19 PM EST
    to do with the Taser in the cop's hand and his threat: "I will light you up!"

    He wouldn't answer her questions.  He refused to tell her why she had to get out of the car.  He wouldn't answer her when she asked if she was being arrested, and what for.

    You may not be aware of this, but women don't take too well to men they don't know - cops or not - putting their hands on them.  

    Cops are supposed to be trained to deal with people who don't react to being pulled over, detained, questioned or threatened as happy, fun events.  It would not seem that this cop put that training to good use; we already know, from his superiors, that he did not follow protocol.

    This seems to me to be the kind of situation that, once they are back at the station, gets resolved when someone of a higher rank, with a cooler and clearer head, takes steps to keep whatever happens next in proportion to the original offense of failing to signal a lane change.  

    That didn't happen in this case.  Instead, a woman in town for a job interview, away from her family and friends, spends days in a jail cell and ultimately, dies under circumstances that seem suspicious at best.

    I will continue to maintain that law enforcement has a duty and a responsibility to make good decisions, even when the people with whom they are interacting are making bad ones, in order to prevent "routine" stops from ending in the morgue.  


    I just watched an extended video (none / 0) (#48)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:24:54 PM EST
    of the traffic stop...

    This is a perfect example of what not to do when pulled over by a cop.  Viewing this video, it's clear to me Bland was the one who escalated things.

    As interesting as this was, I don't see how it relates to her death.  

    McBain: "As interesting as this was, I don't see how it relates to her death."

    ... even from this apparently edited video, that Sandra Bland should never have been arrested and thrown in jail in the first place. Simple logic dictates that were she not in jail, she wouldn't be dead.

    It's also pretty clear that at least one of Trooper Encinia's superiors probably agrees with that, given the public admonition that Encinia "violated the department's procedures regarding traffic stops and the department's courtesy policy," which led to his subsequent resitriction to desk duty.

    It should further be noted that Waller County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith -- who's obviously had his own past problems with racism and police brutality, which led to his firing as Hempstead, TX's chief of police before subsequently winning election to his current post -- is responsible for oversight of the county jail where Ms. Bland died.

    And given Waller County's history as arguably the State of Texas's leading locale for race-based lynchings, this region of east Texas offers both African-Americans and the rest of us more than enough evidence that its public officials are not particularly prone to caring about and protecting the interests of its minority citizens, residents and visitors.

    So, at this point, Waller County and Texas DPS officials would have to be dumber than a bag of river rocks not to realize that the entire country -- and indeed, much of the western world -- is now watching them.

    They really don't have the option of circling the wagons around a miscreant state trooper and / or racist county sheriff, like they have in the past, lest they potentially jeopardize their own respective positions of authority on account of it. Any apparent failure on their part to do the right thing here will likely invite the public intervention of the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

    Therefore, should the findings of the independent medical examiner hired by Sandra Bland's family run in any way counter to the present contentions of local officials that Ms. Bland died as a result of asphyxiation / suicide, I would think that Brian Encinia -- and perhaps R. Glenn Smith, as well -- is likely to find himself very alone and in a whole lot of trouble, while the rest of Waller County's officialdom channels Sgt. Schultz.



    The cop could have told her (none / 0) (#53)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 12:40:01 PM EST
    he was not giving her a ticket, but a warning, when she said she was irritated because he was giving her a ticket for getting out of his way. Ya know, how he handled it with the previous driver . . .

    He probably gave the other driver (none / 0) (#61)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:21:22 PM EST
    a warning because she was polite.  Once Bland became irritated, rude and especially non compliant... the warning only option went out the window.

    So, let me get this straight (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 01:45:49 PM EST
    nobody should get irritated when they get pulled over? The act of getting pulled over has a high rate of getting people irritated. Mighty high bar there.

    She was fine, and didn't want to seem to engage her irritation with him. He persisted. She said why she was irritated (her reason would be considered normal for most people)  and instead of the cop informing her she was not getting a ticket but a warning, he pushed the issue with her smoking. The warning option was there from the start. The cop did not exercise it, nor did he do anything to change the tone of the encounter. From the first things he said to her, asking if she was okay, he had the opportunity to make the situation better. He wasn't the same reassuring fellow he was with the previous driver who (if I heard correctly) was speeding and didn't have proof of insurance.


    You can do whatever you want (none / 0) (#66)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:07:51 PM EST
    when you get pulled over.  As for me, I'm going to do my best not to avoid a ticket.  Where I live, traffic tickets can run $500.  

    Sandra Bland did everything she could to get a ticket and then get arrested.  Seems like we should be talking more about her death than the traffic stop.  I want to know more about the jail cell video.  


    Here. Knock yourself out. (none / 0) (#87)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 05:18:23 PM EST
    Having a crummy attitude (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:24:29 PM EST
    is grounds for arrest?

    If I got pulled over and ticketed for not signaling a lane change, I would have a crummy attitude too.  


    Another power trip by a cop (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 02:26:41 PM EST
    How emotionally juvenile these cops are.  You dis me, I manhandle and arrest you?

    I generally try to ignore (none / 0) (#101)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 07:12:27 PM EST
    your wide-eyed blather. But on this, I can't resist. I looked up stupid in the dictionary, no picture, but it read, "see McBain.".

    In what world, does failure to signal, warrant exiting your vehicle? She even stated, the only reason she changed lanes, was to get out his way. She had committed no offense, until the DPS guy U-turned and ran up on her.

    You can blather on all you want about "proper" conduct during a traffic stop, but regardless of all your speculation, 1) it's not illegal to smoke in our own car 2) it's not a lawful order to tell someone to put a cigarette in their own car 3) it's not illegal to have a bad attitude. 4) it's not illegal to annoyed by a cop 5) for that matter, you can tell a cop eff off should you so choose. That's not illegal either.


    You can't resist because you know I have a point (none / 0) (#107)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 08:47:06 PM EST
    Bland's bad behavior led to her arrest. Had she been polite, it's unlikely she would have been asked to exit her vehicle. If you were confident in your opinion you wouldn't need to use put downs.  

    I was cited for a seatbelt violation (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:35:50 PM EST
    Along with one of my passengers.  After we signed the citations, a deputy standing by for backup directed my two Black passengers to exit the vehicle.  They were frisked on the side of the road.  I was extremely pissed to see that.

    Deputy tells ME to step out, he's gonna frisk me.  He has just run a warrant check, knows I'm 61 years old (then, not now), had no warrants and never been arrested.  Never.  Been.  Arrested.

    A seatbelt citation and no other circumstances does not give a LEO the right to frisk you. Since a frisk, like rape, can't be undone, it was incumbent on me to prevent it rather than submit and then complain later, because it could not be taken back or remedied.  But you have two or three seconds to prevent it, or it will happen.

    I assumed a commanding tone, took control of the situation, "YOU WILL KEEP YOUR @#$% HANDS TO YOURSELF!"  Whipped off my sweatshirt, flipped my pockets out, and dropped jeans and shorts to the ground.  Flashed the deputy at high noon on the side of a busy road.

    First time I ever made a cop so mad he was crying, and two Black men were LAUGHING at him!  Later I beat the citation in court when I demonstrated to the court's satisfaction that the CHP officer was a liar.

    I have refused on a number of occasions to provide identification
    , when an officer who asks for it is not entitled to it.  I know my rights, I stand up for them.  Never.  Been.  Arrested.


    You really are McBains (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:40:02 PM EST
    worst nightmare.  You are the living repudiation of his jawohl world.

    You're lucky you weren't arrested for (none / 0) (#142)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:20:58 AM EST
    indecent exposure.



    You have three seconds (none / 0) (#165)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 02:05:01 PM EST
    ...to arrive at a strategy to avoid the frisk.

    If I HAD been arrested for "indecent exposure," a possibility slightly less likely than being struck by lightning on a clear day, I would certainly have had some fun with it in court.  As it was, I had a LOT OF FUN demonstrating that the CHP officer was a lying liar who lied to the court, and hearing the scolding the judge gave the LEO for lying in his testimony.

    If I had been arrested, the deputy would have had to explain to the court why he was removing from the vehicle and frisking a subject who had been cited for a minor, non-moving vehicle code violation, had no warrants and had NEVER, IN FACT, BEEN ARRESTED.  In spite of the rapidity of my decision to drop trou, I knew the deputy didn't want to explain his outrageous actions to a magistrate.

    So far, in spite of my history refusing to comply with unlawful orders from police, I haven't been arrested.  I must be doing everything right.


    There is any number of things the deputy could (none / 0) (#190)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 07:49:11 PM EST
    have claimed. He thought you had dope seems the easiest.

    And yes, you have been lucky.


    Lucky? (none / 0) (#192)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:13:56 PM EST
    There is any number of things the deputy could have claimed. He thought you had dope seems the easiest.

    He searched the vehicle over my objection, said objecting to a search is evidence of guilty knowledge.  Found a pack of cigarette papers with one paper left in it.  I laughed in his face when he showed me that.

    One event is "luck."  A series of events with the same outcome is not luck.

    Whatever he "thought" is not "probable cause."

    Study that sentence.  There may be a test, and I have already passed it.


    Repack, here's my problem with what you write (none / 0) (#197)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:24:37 PM EST
    I don't want my Grandson harmed by his mistaken belief that he can be some hero by giving the police a hard time.

    He can't. Ms Bland, for whatever reason, pushed the envelope and the result was her death.

    For what reason? How much did she buy into the phony narrative that "black lives matter." I say phony because ALL lives matter. Her actions were extremely counter productive. All she had to do was be polite, follow instructions and live to take legal and/or political action at the appropriate time.

    Right now here in Memphis we have a case were a 19 year old youth left the car he was a passenger in after a traffic stop and attacked a policeman. He was killed.

    How much was Bland's and his activities influenced by all the hype and all the inflamed words that have been tossed around??

    So please. Be responsible. Cool it. All lives matter and let's quit sending a "It's cool to fight the police" message that is deadly.


    Yes, he is white. (none / 0) (#180)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 05:44:02 PM EST
    When Encinia asks dispatch for backup, the state trooper who responds to the call appears to be an African American woman. But because the bystander's video I was watching kept pointing to the ground as though he / she didn't want the troopers to see that they were being recorded at the time, I can't be 100% certain.

    Ancestry dot com (none / 0) (#183)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 06:45:55 PM EST
    has many one-way border crossings from Mexico to  TX under the name Encinia.

    It sure sounds like he is of Mexican descent to me.

    Why do you state as fact that he is white?


    Hey... he and George Zimmerman (2.00 / 2) (#191)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:12:24 PM EST
    must be white....lol

    I'm just going by what the media has said. (none / 0) (#199)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:39:30 PM EST
    Encinia's profiles on LinkedIn and other social media have since been deleted, hardly surprising given his newfound notoriety, and this is the only photo I could find of him, which is a capture from someone else.

    He looks Anglo, but then, one can't really go by a photo. I have a few Latino in-laws in Corpus Christi who could certainly pass for white. And the media is prone to just throwing stuff out there, and they could be wrong in stating he's white, as well.

    Anyway, I don't know if it makes much difference, one way or another, whether he's Anglo or Hispanic or a combination of the two. The female trooper who took Ms. Bland into custody was definitely not white. And as a law enforcement officer, one certainly doesn't have to be white to profile and target minorities. and institutions such as law enforcement agencies can suffer from latent racism, as well as individuals, even though a significant number of officers and employees are people of color.

    That said, I'm not sure how much if any of this incident was propelled by overt racism, or whether this was primarily an officer who was power-tripping and came across a black woman with a chip on her shoulder.

    This is such a mess in terms of conflicting accounts and analyses, whether or not the Bland autopsy was "flawed" as MSNBC reported last night, etc., that I'm going to wait for the investigations to provide some clarity, if any can be had.



    Ya, at this point I'd put my money on a (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 10:55:07 PM EST
    power-tripping cop more than anything else.

    Being White in Texas helps (none / 0) (#100)
    by MKS on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 06:55:18 PM EST
    My Mom, who was a Texan through and trough, never got so much as a ticket her entire life.  The cops loved her.  But she was White, and when young, good looking.

    A couple of years ago, as she was recuperating from pneumonia, she was driving around a wealthy Dallas neighborhood, when she was pulled over by the local cops.   She had taken a wrong turn--down a one way street, I think.  She was at this time a feisty old Texas ranching lady (think Ann Richards.)  The cops asked her if she was okay, gave her directions and let her go. They followed her, and she did something else wrong, and they stopped her again.  No ticket, this time either.  Just more directions, etc. The cops again followed her.

    A third time, my Mom messed up driving. They pulled her over again and said that unless someone could pick her up, they were going to impound her truck--and more horrifying--would take her dogs, who were in the truck with her, to the local shelter.  Holy Hell broke lose.  They had threatened her dogs.  My Mom, who did not get out of the car, said she would never let them take her doggies, and was going to run the cops over with her truck.

    The cops kept their cool, called my brother, and when he arrived to take her home, they just let her go. No ticket.  No arrest.  No charges of assault. No impound of her truck,.....or her dogs....

    She was always golden with Texas cops. When I was a kid and my brother was late coming home causing my Mom to call the cops, they were so polite to her.  Yes Ma'am.  No Ma'am.  When my brother came sauntering in, the cops just left with no lectures or recriminations.....

    But she was clearly Texan, not from out of state, and White.  

    On CNN TV, Anderson Cooper (none / 0) (#110)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:13:51 PM EST
    reported that Sandra Bland had attempted suicide in 2014,  had marijuana in her system, and had the markings of a "cutter" on her arm. AC also reported that Bland had become frustrated with friends and family for not returning her phone calls.  

    Pretty soon people will stop questioning whether or not this was a suicide and start complaining that she wasn't given enough supervision in jail.  I don't know how it works in a jail like that but, perhaps, if the cops knew she was frustrated and had a history of suicide they should have kept an eye on her.

    And maybe she shouldn't have been (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:30:02 PM EST
    there in the first place.  Maybe someone with a more rational and experienced head would have found a way to straighten it all out without going to the extent of keeping her locked up for days.  We know that happens.  We know people are accommodated and treated like humans who matter, so why not this woman?  We know people act worse, do worse, and still get a break, so why not this woman?

    I guess what gets me about your comments is that you're always just shrugging your shoulders and acting like there's nothing that could have been done, no intervention that would have helped, and are so willing to lay it all at the feet of the citizens whom law enforcement is supposed to be serving, instead of holding law enforcement to the higher standard their training is supposed to teach them to maintain.  

    She was understandably upset at being pulled over - that's not something a white man is likely to understand, but how many times do you have to read about what people of color go through with law enforcement just because they're black or brown to get that being pulled over is not just some simple routine thing?  The cop had the power and ability to calm the whole thing down, and he chose to just flip the switch, get physical and issue threats.

    And we see where it ended up, don't we?

    Maybe that's just a ho-hum, too-bad-so-sad kind of thing for you, but just so you know, that's the attitude that contributes to it continuing to happen.


    Based on her behavior (1.00 / 2) (#116)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:38:12 PM EST
    she did deserve to be in jail.  She called the cop a M-Fer and a p***y.  The female cop said she kicked the arresting officer.  That will put you in jail.  

    What I don't understand is why Bland was there for three days.  Why couldn't someone bail her out?  Why wasn't she on suicide watch?



    While I would question her judgement (none / 0) (#122)
    by vml68 on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 10:19:29 PM EST
    Based on her behavior she did deserve to be in jail.  She called the cop a M-Fer and a p***y.

    in that situation, she most definitely did not deserve to be in jail for it.


    So (none / 0) (#113)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:35:46 PM EST
    apparrently the first autopsy was "defective" and they have to do another.

    How exactly does an autopsy become defective.

    This is just being reported as breaking news.


    So, we have a glitchy video (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:48:36 PM EST
    and a defective autopsie? Wonder what's next. They do realize people are paying attention, right?

    The phrase (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:52:44 PM EST
    "in over their heads" was used

    family and friends (1.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Uncle Chip on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:25:53 PM EST
    AC also reported that Bland had become frustrated with friends and family for not returning her phone calls.

    Yep -- just as I suspected.

    She is languishing in jail calling family and friends for the bond money to get out but none of her beloved family and friends is coming through for her.

    Oh but as soon as she turns up dead and there is the prospect of money coming their way from a wrongful death suit, they all join the tearful chorus in hopes of cashing in.


    Except they are adamantly denying (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:31:05 PM EST
    Decedent was ever depressed or suicidal. Given the information she provided to the intake staff person, the best civil cause of action would be proving up deliberate indifference to serious medical need.

    They will probably change their strategy soon (none / 0) (#126)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:40:53 PM EST
    ...The unlawful arrest caused an already mentally unstable woman to kill herself.  The jailhouse cops should have been watching her...... something like that.

    The latter. (none / 0) (#127)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 11:42:43 PM EST
    Here's a CBS link.... (none / 0) (#111)
    by McBain on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:19:16 PM EST

    It says she told the cops she attempted suicide because she "lost baby".  

    Sounds like she had a lot of problems and her friends and family weren't helping much.  


    Well (none / 0) (#153)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 11:48:14 AM EST
     a custodial authority can be held liable for negligently monitoring  a person in its custody where a reasonable person would determine such action was necessary.

       You get into very fact specific matters but in the abstract leaving a person alone and unmonitored when there is reason to believe the person might harm themselves can be the basis for civil liability. Leave them alone in a setting where reasonable steps have not been taken to eliminate means of harming herself and the case becomes stronger. (obviously all means cannot be eliminated but there is a reason prisoners generally don't have belts shoe laces, drawstrings and the like).


    Read this from the NYT (none / 0) (#115)
    by Palli on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:36:53 PM EST
    According to this (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 22, 2015 at 09:59:38 PM EST
    UC Berkeley law professor, failure to signal a turn is an arrest-able offense in Texas:

    Failure to use a turn signal is technically an arrestable offense in Texas, though it rarely happens, according to Andrea Roth, an expert in criminal procedure who works as an assistant law professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 08:12:39 AM EST
    Which was almost refreshing in this thread.

    Yup (none / 0) (#159)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 12:29:52 PM EST
    I'm pretty much outta here. Need a shower . . .

    Separately, an inmate who was held in a cell adjacent to Bland told CNN she did not hear any commotion or screaming that would suggest foul play before the 28-year-old woman was found dead.

    The woman, who asked not to be identified, said Bland was emotional and often crying during her three days in the jail.

    The inmate says she spoke with Bland twice, and that Bland told her she was worried about not being able to talk with her family members, and was stressed about missing her first day of work at her new job.

    Bland Autopsy (none / 0) (#169)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 03:11:18 PM EST
    Waller County DA releases autopsy results of Sandra Bland and confirms suicide by hanging

    There were cut marks on her left arm and at least 30 cut marks on left wrist, in a state of healing with scarring or scabbing, indicating they were placed on her wrists weeks before the arrest.

    This always looked like a suicide (2.00 / 1) (#174)
    by McBain on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 04:30:56 PM EST
    it never looked like murder. It's sad that Bland was stuck in jail for 3 days with all of her emotional problems.  Maybe her friends and family let her down.  Maybe they were tired of her letting them down.  

    Now the mystery of (none / 0) (#184)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 06:58:29 PM EST
    the marijuana:

    Assistant DA Diepraam said that unless she took the drug inside her cell, Bland would have had to have ingested a huge amount of the substance, either by swallowing or smoking it, for it to still be in her system three days later.

    Did she swallow a "huge amount of substance" at the traffic stop?

    Is that why she was so angry at the cop?

    That would explain why she hadn't had much of an appetite in the jail and wasn't eating much.


    Wow (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by sj on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 07:29:47 PM EST
    That is a shockingly ignorant statement. So the DA is either an idiot, or thinks everybody else is and thinks that repetition of a lie will somehow make it more convincing.

    It is truly stunning (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 07:31:26 PM EST
    suddenly I am absolutely certain this is all wrong

    Drugs.com (none / 0) (#185)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 07:14:06 PM EST
    As a rough guide: if you smoke the occasional joint, it'll stay in your system for up to 10 days. If you smoke regularly, up to 45 days and if you smoke constantly, 90 days.

    As for being detectable in a drug test, well this depends on the type of drug test. Urine test will detect up to a month prior but a blood test will show positive if you've smoked any weed in the last 6 months.

    Also important to note that marijuana residue is stored in the fat cells, so if you're skinny or have a high metabolism, the time it takes to leave your system may be reduced.

    If you don't like that source (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 07:30:33 PM EST
    try googling how long pot stays in your system.   This is extremely common knowledge for this of us who smoke pot and have occasionally found ourselves tested.

    What that guy said what utter bullpsh!t.  It is, as I said, either astoundingly actually unbelievably - for a person in his position - ignorant, or it is meant to be misleading and to smear her.


    CNn update (none / 0) (#177)
    by Reconstructionist on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 05:20:11 PM EST

       The combination of being informed she had suicidal ideation in the past, appeared to have harmed herself and the finding the jail staff failed to check on her well being in accordance with standards will go a long way to establishing negligence by the jail

    Chris Rock (none / 0) (#196)
    by thomas rogan on Thu Jul 23, 2015 at 09:16:06 PM EST
    All of us should look up his famous youtube video of how to not get beaten up by the police.

    Officer's dialog with Ms Bland. (none / 0) (#205)
    by Jodi on Wed Jul 29, 2015 at 03:42:44 AM EST
    People keep saying the Officer had no authority to "order" Ms Bland to put out the cigarette.  From what I see of the transcript above, he did not order that.  He only requested her do so.

    Maybe the smoke was bothering him.  Secondhand smoke is definitely a health risk. I don't let people blow smoke in my face.

    The Officer did order her to exit the vehicle.  It is my opinion that he had the authority to do that.  We will have to wait to hear his explanation of why he did that.