In 2015 Sandra Bland, a black woman, was found hanging in a Texas jail cell outside of Houston. Her death spawned reactions, and provoked suspicion around the country due to the fact that it followed a controversial traffic stop. Now four years since her passing footage has been released from Bland’s cellphone, documenting the interaction between her and white state trooper, Brian Encinia.
The 39-second clip aired on Monday night on Dallas television station WFAA and reveals Encinia approaching Bland with a stun gun pointed in her direction. Encinia opens 28-year-old Bland’s car door, ordering her out and threatening her near the traffic stop by Prairie View A&M University. “Get out of the car! I will light you up! Get out!” Bland follows Encinia’s orders but still continues to record. In the following moments Encinia yells at her to get off her phone but Bland responds with, “I’m not on the phone. I have a right to record. This is my property.” The video soon ends after the Encinia tells her to put her phone down.
Bland’s discovered cellphone footage is news to her family as well as their attorney Cannon Lambert who says he never saw the clip. Lambert claims that he wasn’t shown the clip in the evidence given by investigators, however, spokeswoman Katherine Cesigner says that the video was known by all parties involved at the time and stated that “it was unclear what arrangements, if any, were made by the plaintiffs to view the video.”
The newly released video can clear up any misconceptions regarding Bland’s case and Lambert feels that it “makes it abundantly clear there was nothing she was doing in that car that put him at risk at all.”