Just a day after video was released purporting to show the arrest of Sandra Bland and the events that led up to the arrest, questions have arisen over whether the video has been edited. I kid you not.
In the dash camera footage, which was released by Texas police on Tuesday, the argument culminates in Ms Bland being forced to the ground off-camera and handcuffed.
But Ava DuVernay, a US director whose film Selma was nominated for an academy award, has questioned the authenticity of the video.
“I edit footage for a living. But anyone can see that this official video has been cut. Read/watch. Why?” the Sundance award-winning filmmaker tweeted on Tuesday.
Glitches. Motion sensors. Clouds. Reasons from those who say #SandraBland vid is pristine. Doesn't explain loops + audio cuts. But, um, ok.
This raises all kinds of questions about the integrity of all the evidence in the case. If the police have indeed altered the video footage, then criminality extends throughout the department to all those involved or connected to the altered footage. It further throws into question any and all arrests and law enforcement actions taken by the Department, because if they could alter this footage then any defense attorney in the region would be able to question any other arrests, tickets, or even convictions on the claims that the Department played fast and loose with the evidence.
But let’s just say that this is all just glitches in the video. That doesn’t quite explain why the audio was unaffected, and those with more experience are more than welcome to weigh in. Clearly the expert noted above thinks that the video was edited, and I tend to concur.
There’s absolutely no reason that the video should loop like that, or why the audio continues uninterrupted.
As it is, the questions over Bland’s death start with why she was even arrested in the first place.
The video showed the officer pulling Ms. Bland over and their encounter escalating into a physical altercation in which he threatened her with a stun gun.
“I will light you up,” the trooper said, pointing the stun gun at her.
The video also confirmed an account from the family’s lawyer that the confrontation between Ms. Bland and the trooper, Brian T. Encinia, escalated after she refused his order to put out a cigarette, Mr. West said.
Neither the stun gun nor the confrontation over the cigarette was mentioned in Trooper Encinia’s incident report, which was also made public on Tuesday.
The video showed Trooper Encinia standing outside the driver’s door and explaining to Ms. Bland that she was being written up for failing to signal a lane change.
“You seem very irritated,” he said.
“I am, I really am,” she said. She said she had pulled over to get out of his way and was now getting stopped and written up because of it.
“You mind putting out your cigarette?” he asked testily.
“I’m in my own car. I don’t have to put out my cigarette,” she said.
When he ordered her out of the car, she refused.
“I’m going to yank you out,” Trooper Encinia shouted.
Before long, Ms. Bland was outside the car shouting insults and obscenities, and the trooper had her in handcuffs.
It would appear she was targeted for not not signaling a lane change. Last time I checked, that is a violation subject to a ticket. It shouldn’t result in an arrest, let alone dying in a jail cell. A ticket would have been sufficient. This officer intended to escalate the situation, and made ever effort to make the situation as difficult for Bland as possible.
Bland was within her rights to question the officer for why she was being ticketed, why she was being asked to exit the vehicle, let alone extinguish a cigarette in her vehicle. Anyone who is pulled over is likely to be upset, angry, and officers are supposed to be trained to maintain their composure and keep the situation from escalating.
Instead, Encinia trampled all over Bland’s civil and constitutional rights, and her arrest and subsequent jailing left her dead under circumstances that are hazy at best. While the police claim that it was a suicide and a coroner’s report makes the same claim, those who are following the case have noted the difficulty of trying to commit suicide in the manner claimed.
The fact is, Bland should never have been arrested, let alone forced out of her vehicle over a lane change violation.
There’s a new video that has been release that law enforcement is the proper video. It also happens to be a couple minutes shorter than the first, and that they pinky swear that this is an unedited video.
UPDATE: The new Sandra Bland video is 49:11, 3:01 shorter than the original 52:12 video. It still has no timecode. http://t.co/vV8siEA8lo