During an interview Monday (July 27) with former NYPD officer John Rafferty, FOX personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck suggested Sandra Bland may have been asked to step out of her car during a routine traffic stop after not putting her cigarette out because it could’ve been used as a weapon.
The Fox and Friends co-host and Rafferty watched a snippet from the dashcam video showcasing Bland’s encounter with Trooper Brian Encinia.
“It appears, looking at this, because she didn’t put out the cigarette. Next thing he knows, he’s asking the person to step out of the vehicle,” Rafferty said. “You can’t take it personal. It’s the job.”
Hasselbeck followed up by inquiring if a cigarette has ever been used as a weapon against an officer. “But, what if, I mean, there are times, I’m sure, someone has, in the history of this land, used a cigarette against a police officer,” said Hasselbeck, “Maybe chucked it at him, pushed it at him.”
“Absolutely,” said Rafferty.
The former co-host of The View then questioned if asking the 28-year-old to step out of her vehicle was necessary.
“I’ve had somebody try to put a cigarette out on me. It happens. I guarantee, you speak to many cops out there. But the way you say it, unfortunately you’re locked into it. Because now, it’s being recorded. Unfortunately, these officers have to remember that.”
Bland was arrested for failing to signal during a routine traffic stop in early July. Three days later, she was found dead in her cell. An autopsy report concluded Bland, who just moved from Chicago to start a new job, died from suicide.
Watch the video here.