New Video Surfaces In Confrontational Traffic Stop That Led To Woman’s Sucide

Family members are calling to reopen a criminal investigation into Sandra Bland's death in a Texas jail cell with the surfacing of her own arrest video.

Cellphone video recorded by Sandra Bland, a woman found dead in a Texas jail following a confrontational 2015 traffic stop, shows for the first time her perspective as a state trooper draws his stun gun and points it at close range while ordering her out of her auto.

Her death and dashcam video showing Trooper Brian Encinia trying to pull the 28-year-old Chicago-area woman out of her vehicle became flashpoints in the debate over the treatment of black people by police.

The video shows Encinia yelling at Bland to get out of the auto, even as she calmly asks why she's being apprehended. "How can you tell me you don't know what's in her hand when you're looking right dead at it".

Bland exited the auto but continued to record the traffic stop as Encinia ordered her to get off the phone.

The new video, released on Monday evening by WFAA-TV in partnership with the Investigative Network, was taken by Bland on her own cellphone during her arrest.

"I have a right to record", she said.

Family members, who received $1.9 million in settling a wrongful death suit, say the 39-second video supports their claims of withheld evidence. Three days later, she was discovered dead by hanging from a jail-cell partition.

He yelled at her again to put her phone down.

In the cellphone video, Bland leaves her auto after Encinia pulls his Taser, saying, "Wow. Wow ..."

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"Open up the case, period", Bland's sister Shante Needham said after seeing the video. Encinia was later charged with perjury over the traffic stop after saying he feared for his safety during the traffic stop with the diminutive Bland.

"What this video shows is, it's nearly literally through Sandra Bland's eyes", Collister tells member station Houston Public Media, in an interview Tuesday for the Houston Matters show. However, the charges against him were dropped after Encinia agreed to never work in law enforcement again.

"The video makes it abundantly clear there was nothing she was doing in that vehicle that put him at risk at all", Lambert said.

This story has been corrected to show that the spelling of the Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman's last name is Cesinger, not Cesigner.

"I've not seen it", Lambert told a WFAA reporter of the cellphone recording.

Bland complies, while continuing to complain about Encinia's excessive and unnecessary use of force.

"The premise that the video was not produced as a part of the discovery process is wrong", DPS said in a statement.

Encinia's attorney argued otherwise, telling the AP that the newly released video doesn't show anything more than the dashcam footage already did.

"It is troubling that a crucial piece of evidence was withheld from Sandra Bland's family and legal team in their pursuit of justice", Coleman's statement said. "The illegal withholding of evidence by one side from the other destroys our legal system's ability to produce fair and just outcomes". Furthermore, he saw that she was holding a cellphone and not a weapon. "As Chair of the House Committee on County Affairs that looked into the death of Sandra Bland, I will make sure that the Committee will also look into how this happened".

Shawn McDonald, one of the special prosecutors assigned to the grand jury investigation, said it would be "ridiculous" to retry Encinia, adding that he himself had seen the video three years ago.

  • Sonia Alvarado