|Remembering that Sandra Bland's life mattered|
Bland was “an outspoken opponent of police brutality” and one suspicion is that she was pulled over by Trooper Brian Encinia for that very reason. When she stood up for herself she was set upon and ultimately died in police custody three days later. It is clear from a recording that at the very least Sandra Bland was subject to police heavy handedness during her arrest.
She told a friend she had been “roughed up”.
This police bullishness resulted from nothing more serious than a failure by Bland to make the correct signal for a lane switch. Bland herself later left a voice message on a friend’s phone expressing bewilderment at how things had turned out. "I'm still just at a loss for words honestly at this whole process ... How did switching lanes with no signal turn into all of this, I don't even know."
Rebecca Robertson, the legal and policy director for A.C.L.U. in Texas, said, “The initial stop should not have resulted in an arrest.” The cop could easily have handed Bland a traffic violation ticket and sent her on her way.
There are now a number of factors said to be complicating the case from the police point of view:
She tried to hire a bail bondsman shortly before her death and reports that the Texas Sheriff in the county she was arrested in was fired from a previous job over allegations of racism.
Added to the mix is a clear attempt at damage limitation and cover up, Texas police put out the least damaging video version of Bland's arrest. When challenged, the force claimed a technical glitch. The lack of faith in US law enforcement has been underscored by a growing willingness on the part of the public to believe that Sandra Bland was already dead when the police photographed her for a mugshot.
Trooper Encinia is now on desk duty while Sandy Bland is dead. Justice is not circulating evenly here. Black lives matter to black people much more than they do to white cops.