HOW SMOKING CAN KILL YOU:
THE SANDRA BLAND TRAGEDY
By Meg Langford
She was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal. Officer Encinia ran her information, found nothing damning, and decided to give her a warning. Three minutes later, he was pointing his Taser within inches of her, threatening to “Light you up!” Three days later, Sandra Bland was found dead in her jail cell.
The Sheriff in charge of the jail where Sandra Bland died is actually so stupid he’s interesting.
That’s the way of it, sometimes. Among those of us following the story, there is a kind of morbid curiosity to find out what boneheaded thing he will say next.
The first bizarre thing that Sheriff Glenn Smith did is call a big press conference to announce to the watching world that there is no race relations problem in his little empire, and how he really cares about African-American people. When asked if he thought there was racism in Waller County, he stated: “The average citizen goes about their life seven days a week enjoying it, everybody working together, eating in restaurants together and socializing. . .I just don’t think it exists. . .”
This rings not quite true. In fact the statement stinks of lies and hypocrisy, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, Sandra Bland was just going about her life, enjoying the day, looking forward to a rich, full future and the new job that came with it, when a cop broke the law by speeding up behind her, egregiously breaking the speed limit by not using lights and sirens. And when she quickly got out of the way for him, to let him pass, he pulled her over, picked a fight, threatened to give her electric shock, and a couple of days later, she was mysteriously dead. So yeah, since Sandra was black, and the deputy (who had just given a nice white student a traffic violation warning) was not black, I’m thinking there’s some racism here.
But let’s not stop there; another thing that makes me think there is racism in the Sheriff’s beloved Waller County is that—wait for it—they still practice segregation on the dead. It’s an ingenious way to get your point across, about how your folks still love the idea of segregation, without actually breaking the law. You see, all those pesky Supreme Court decisions pretty much only apply to pulse people—i.e., the living. But when a white woman with no known identity tragically turned up deceased and had to be buried, and when the black judge in charge of the disposition of the body ordered her to be buried in a cemetery of his determining, a hue and a cry arose to the heavens: you see, a black judge by the name of DeWayne Charleston had ordered the white Jane Doe to be buried in a Negro cemetery. But the good Christians of Waller County would not have it. What happened next? A white judge reversed the black judge’s order. So even if you are dead, you are segregated in Waller County, Texas. Which is pretty weird if you think about it, since we are all skeletons sooner or later, which are all that same beige color. Of course, this particular graveyard incident did happen a long time ago, not too long after the Civil War. It happened back in 2007, which is not too long after the Civil War--at least, if you are from Waller County, Texas.
But Sheriff Glenn Smith will tell you that there is no racism in Waller County. Yeah, right. And there are no cats in America, Fievel. Glenn Smith even announced a special press conference so he could refer to himself in the third person and announce to a curious press corps that “Black lives matter to Glenn Smith”.
If I had access to Sheriff Glenn Smith, I would put this cheerful Post-It on his desk: “Note to Self: When you have to call a press conference to announce to the world that you aren’t racist, it’s a pretty sure bet that you are.”
But, as they say in the infomercials—WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
What other wacky hijinks has the good Sheriff Glenn Smith been up to?
Well, about a month after Sandra Bland mysteriously died in her jail cell, he cut down a big, beautiful tree just outside of the jail. The protestors, who had been standing in peaceful and quiet vigil ever since Sandra died, used to stand under it and pray. Until big Sheriff Smith cut it down. The reason he gave: it was “a security issue”. Huh? He was threatened by the tree? The safety of the good people of Waller County was threatened by a tree? What did he think it was, an Ent?
As my editor pointed out, of the tree murder, “this was not some heated reaction offered after some protestor flipped him the bird. (Although there is no record of any of these extremely docile protestors flipping him or anyone else the bird.) “Think about it,” my editor continued. “He had to plan this. He had to look at that beautiful old stately tree, which had offered shade to the good citizens of Waller County as they moved through the town square for decades, and he had to decide that those protestors weren’t going to enjoy any of his Texas shade, by gum, and he had to get his chain saw and fill it with gasoline and come back to the tree and start sawing away.”
SHERIFF GLENN SMITH: “I suppose the tree has been there for probably a long time, but it needed to be cut down today, because we’ve never had a security issue like we have today. . .There were birds making a mess on cars, it was blocking the view from the parking lot.”
See what I mean? He is so stupid he’s funny. When this news story cycles away for good, I am going to miss him.
I suppose a straw poll would tell us that those of us following Smith’s shenanigans have a favorite comment, and that is when he called the people standing vigil “Satanists”. Apparently, because he did not recognize them as coming from his particular little congregation, then they must be the spawn of Satan. (Cue echo chamber, cue SNL Church Lady dancing with gusto.)
Hanna Bonner is a soft-spoken, sincere Methodist pastor who made the mistake (in the sheriff’s eyes, no doubt) of videotaping a smart ass remark made by Smith. As he passed her (under the hot Texas sun, as the shade from the Ent Tree was no longer an option), he said “GO BACK TO THAT CHURCH OF SATAN THAT YOU RUN.” When asked why he would say such a vile thing, he responded: “My Grandmother used to tell me, if you’re not doing godly things, then you must be working for the Devil, because there is no in-between." And in case that wasn’t clear enough, he elaborated: “I have been a sheriff for a long time, and I have actually seen Satan worshippers wearing collars.” Here, your humble author must defer to the experience and expertise of the Sheriff. I, myself, have never seen Satan worshippers wearing collars. Only dozens of leaders of peaceful flocks from a variety of religious denominations.
But hey, everything about Sheriff Glenn Smith is not so amusing. In fact, most everything about him is damned creepy. Let’s examine, for example, the history of Glenn Smith before he became the Sheriff.
Not once, but twice, he was disciplined for behaving like a big, fat racist.
And those are just the incidents that we know about. The ones that came to light.
What made the ugly incidents even more horrifying, in hindsight, were the implications that they held for the future: imagine what would have happened if the people of Waller County had done the right thing, and decided that such a man was not the right kind of man to be sheriff. Imagine if he had not been elected. The entire tone at the Waller County jail might have been different, and, for all kinds of reasons, Sandra Bland might be alive today.
Waller’s racism first went public in 2007, when it was covered by an article in The Houston Chronicle.
February 21st, 2007: (Excerpted from “Hempstead Police Chief disciplined in racially charged arrest”.)
The Hempstead City Council voted to suspend Smith for two weeks without pay after viewing videotapes and hearing the allegations against him from local black residents stemming from the arrest of 35 year old Cory Labba on Jan. 8th …. Hempstead Mayor Michael Wolfe Sr. said Labba, who is black, claimed Smith hit him in the chest during his arrest. “He (Smith) took responsibility for being unrestrained, and based on his own admission, he pushed the suspect … and used profanity,” Wolfe said. “In this case, the young man has no bruises and he was not physically abused in any way whatsoever,” the mayor went on to say. . .”
The attitudes expressed in the article reveal a lot. Too much. The article exemplifies one of the many reasons that Texas has a poor reputation for race relations. And it is also clear that the incident happened long before our national radar was attuned to the issue of the treatment of blacks at the hands of white authority figures: how incredibly bizarre is it that both Glenn Smith (then the police chief, not the sheriff) and the mayor both acknowledge that a suspect was sworn at and shoved, but also claim that no physical abuse took place. And also notice how neither of them suggests that the suspect was in any way being violent or resisting arrest. Apparently, it’s OK to get physical with a suspect and hit him in the chest, as long as you don’t leave a mark, as long as the man “has no bruises”. Interestingly, that is the same logic used by wife batterers.
And yes, I will acknowledge that there is a vast difference between giving a suspect a push, as the sheriff claimed, and punching him hard, as the suspect claimed. But you know what—the credibility of the Texan police, the Texan sheriff and deputies, the Texan politicos, and the Texan press, have all been compromised by their own behavior. At this point, I’m going with the suspect. If he says he was hit, I’m going with the suspect. Another reason why I’m believing the suspect at this point: apparently there was a videotape of it, viewed by the City Council. If it’s exculpatory of Glenn Smith, then why can’t we see it? What are you hiding?
But it’s not as though Glenn Smith faced no consequences. The article continues:
“After a lengthy closed door council meeting that lasted until 2:00 a.m., the six member council also placed the police chief on probation for six months and ordered him to take anger management classes…”
So. What came of Officer Glenn Smith’s probation and anger management classes? Apparently, they didn’t exactly take. About a year later, on March 17th of 2008, Glenn was fired in a 3-2 vote by that same City Council. Apparently, he went on a botched drug raid where he accused and arrested the wrong people, strip searching a bunch of innocent Afro-American youths.
What further punishment was in store for this man, who had a growing record of harassing African Americans? What more, besides losing his job? The path ahead was clear: no longer a police officer, he was now free to be elected Sheriff of Waller County. And so the good citizens of Waller County did just that.
I think it is fair to assume that anybody who is reading this book remembers the indignity and the horror of the escalating traffic stop which lead to the death of Sandra Bland. As for the incident and its aftermath, I wish I could tell you something that you don’t already know, but the Waller County Sheriff’s Department has made it clear that that won’t be happening.
However, because this book is not just being written for my contemporaries—we all say we will never forget, yet we do--but also for future generations who wish to learn about this history of lynching in America—I recount it again here. Infamous links and all.
July 10th, 2015 was, by all accounts, a beautiful day in Waller County, Texas. Sandra Bland, a twenty-eight year old gal from Chicago with a big loving family of five sisters was on her way to Prairie View A&M University, to begin a new job as a summer program assistant. She had graduated from Prairie View with a degree in agriculture. For several years she had been a summer counselor, she had played in a band, and she had volunteered for a senior citizen’s advocacy group. Hardly the portrait of a troublemaker who deserved what she got in the end. In a poignant series of videotapes on YouTube entitled Sandy Speaks, her self-proclaimed moniker, she speaks of her concerns about violence against African Americans. In “Sandy Speaks”, she also expresses her hopes that technology and social media, in concert with a renaissance of concern and social passion, might finally make a permanent change in the way Afro-Americans are treated in this country. (How ironic that the ugly traffic stop which led to her death was captured on this new technology, and while it may never bring Sandra complete justice, it has assured that the arresting officer will face some unpleasant justice of his own.)
State Trooper Brian Encinia had just finished giving a cordial warning to a white student whom he had pulled over; he then saw Sandra Bland pass in her car. That’s when he pulled a U-Turn, and sped up behind her. In doing so, he was breaking the speed limit and breaking the law, as he was neither on his way to a police emergency, nor did he have his lights and siren on. Not surprisingly, he has never been charged for this. Sandra Bland immediately did the logical and safe thing—she got out of the officer’s way, pulling into the right lane, failing to use her turn signal.
The officer then pulls her over, and then, in a conversation that must be actually heard to be believed, the cop asks her why she seems annoyed. Sandra answers politely, and then the cop tells her to put out her cigarette. Sandra declines, saying that she is simply smoking in her car, at which point your best plan, Officer Brian Encinia, is to take her to jail. For failing to use a turn signal. When she quite naturally protests, you order her out of the car; when she again protests, you threaten to “Light Her Up!” By this, of course, you mean you are getting ready to Tase her, causing this citizen agony and quite possibly permanent damage.
Officer Brian Encinia then proceeds to physically take Sandra Bland down, careful to make certain that it happens outside of the range of his dashcam. Within about a minute, help shows up in the form of a black female officer. Here is my burning question: Why the hell haven’t we seen the dashcam footage from her cruiser? That would illuminate a great deal. The particular dialogue I leave to your viewing of the graphic and grisly video, which, I suspect, given the immortal ubiquity of footage once it goes viral, will always be around.
Sandra Bland is then taken to the jail where she is booked and fingerprinted. Three days later, on Monday morning, she is found dead in her cell.
Here are the first questions, out of many, many questions, which demand answers:
The sheriff’s department said she was suicidal. But why is it that one form, filled out by someone’s hand other than Sandra’s, said she was suicidal, but another form, filled out into a computer, said she was not suicidal?
An autopsy conducted by the Harris County Medical Examiner ruled Bland’s death a suicide, and said it found no evidence of a violent struggle. The result from a second independent autopsy requested by her family has not yet been released. But let’s back up a little.
The Harris County Medical Examiner is a part of the system, and given the systemic and systematic racism in Waller County, it is hard
to believe that they are not tainted. Case in point: virtually all forensic experts agree that in asphyxiational hangings, petechiae occurs. Petechiae is the bursting of tiny blood vessels in the eyes (and other places) that occurs because the blood has stopped flowing freely, and the sudden buildup of blood stoppage in a very, very small vein causes the vein to burst, and for red blotches or red pinpoints to appear. It is simple: hanging equals petechiae. Sandra Bland had no petechiae. What do you think? Most forensic authorities would tell you that this is a good clue that Sandra was killed by some other means, and then the scene was staged to look like a hanging.
Why wasn’t Sandra Bland seen by a doctor, since she suffered from epilepsy and had her head slammed into the ground? And why was she denied her epilepsy medication during her long days at the jail?
Could her head injuries have led to her death? Some think she was murdered, but many feel that she died as a result of injuries (concussion) that she sustained during the traffic stop, and that the implausible “hanging” was Waller County’s way of covering up what certainly would have been an exponentially growing lawsuit against them.
Lastly, large amounts of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, were found in Sandra’s body at autopsy. But this is a virtual physical and medical impossibility, unless she was force fed THC, possibly in liquid form, and possibly when she was in a coma from head injuries (see above). Here is the problem with the coroner’s finding of the THC: it was too large an amount in her system to have lingered for the three days she was in jail. So the sheriff’s department’s explanation that she was stoned when she was stopped, or—as some have bizarrely advanced, that she ate some pot she had in her possession while Encinia was running her license—simply is not medically plausible. And she could not possibly have gotten marijuana while in a cell by herself in a jail where she knew nobody, and after she had been body searched. Nobody is buying it. And nobody is buying that she could have smoked marijuana in jail without the people in the cells next to her, or the jailers, smelling it.
Nothing adds up. Will there ever be justice for Sandra Bland? After a brief recap via a public memo to Sheriff Glenn Smith, we will take a look at the Waller County Prosecutor, and see just how dim that hope for justice truly is …
NOTE TO SHERIFF GLENN SMITH: You always seem riled by these uppity protestors hanging around your jail, always asking questions, questions, and more questions. Well, I’ve got a little tip for you. I can shed some light on all that.
Here’s the situation from the protestors’ point of view: It starts back nearly a decade ago, when you smack some black guy around, punching him in the chest and swearing at him and calling him names—except for one problem: according to your arrest report, he wasn’t resisting arrest. He posed no threat. But still, you punched and poked him. And yet, you and your superiors claimed that it had nothing to do with racism. The lack of bruises or permanent marks seems to indicate to you and your superiors that what you did was OK. Again, this is the same logic as wife batterers.
Then, after some anger management therapy, which clearly didn’t take, you harass the wrong group of African American boys, adding to their false arrest a humiliating strip search. You get fired. Now, you have indicated that you are a church goer, a religious man (?!), so instead of going off by yourself and pondering what is wrong with this picture--instead of asking “What Would Jesus Do?”--your best plan is to run for sheriff, get yourself in a position of even more power, and then you proceed to run a jail.
Meanwhile, as if to prove the presence of the cancer that is police brutality in the state of Texas, a state trooper pulls a young African-American woman over for a minor traffic infraction and no, Sandra did not use her turn signal, although the act would have been meaningless, even if she had. The entire point of a turn signal is to give drivers in the lane you plan to enter a heads up, as it were. The cop came up behind her so suddenly, there wasn’t time to leave the blinker on long enough for it to be a valid warning to other drivers. Let’s face it. Someone was breaking traffic laws here, but it wasn’t Sandra. It was the dickish, bullying Officer Brian Encinia who sped up fast behind her, tailgating.
Experts who see the video of the traffic stop unilaterally agree: it was Encinia who escalated the traffic stop. We all know the story by now: he asks her to put out her cigarette, but she doesn’t want to, stating that it’s her car, and she can do what she wants. Within a few minutes of pulling her over, in all violation of procedure and decency, he threatens to “Light her Up!” For her simple choice to not put out her cigarette, she gets manhandled, her wrists and arms bruised and bloodied, and her head slammed to the ground—an act which can kill, as any person with a brain knows.
Within a couple of days, she is found dead in her cell. Suicide? Murder? Or perhaps the simple horror of that slam to the head catching up with her epileptic brain?
Naturally, people get upset. So authorities release the footage of what happened: but it is a tape so obviously doctored that a ten year old could see the same car going by over and over and over again. Then you release tapes from inside the jail, of Sandra Bland’s booking, and her arrival, and her perp walk to the cell, and more—all of which were also obviously doctored, with time stamps missing, and jump cuts. And experts in the field of CCTV all are in agreement: the bullshit reasons you give for these anomalies are just that—bullshit.
And when the autopsy comes out, among many other things, we learned that poor Sandra still had plant debris in her healing cuts, cuts that she got from being slammed on the ground, because Waller County jail staff never even let her take a shower.
When things continue to not go the way you want, you chop down trees and label anyone who doesn’t go to your church a Satanist. All of this could have been prevented at so many steps along the way, and oh, as if your Assholiness has not made enough of an idiot of himself, when you are asked on camera, you assure the viewers that what the Trooper did was legal.
So that, Sheriff, is why we are all a bit peeved.
JUST A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS…
Now, there were a few things that happened from the time Sandra was arrested, through her death, that have reasonable people confounded. I believe most of those concerns and curiosities are captured in the few quick questions I have outlined below: DEAR WALLER COUNTY: JUST A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS. . .
(Many of these unanswered questions are bolstered by hyperlinks to YouTube. In many cases, several links of the same footage occur in a sentence or two, in case a link were to end up being dead, YouTube accounts are closed, or crucial footage otherwise “goes missing”: some of the footage put up by Waller County itself is actually the most damning, if examined closely. One wonders just how long this incriminating footage will remain on YouTube. In cases where there are dozens or hundreds of the same image on YouTube—such as the arrest itself—we have eliminated hyperlinks, as these links are ubiquitous on the web, and very easily found.
QUESTIONS PART ONE: SANDRA BLAND, TRAFFIC STOP
--Encinia was clearly speeding when he came up behind Sandra Bland, although he was not on his way to an emergency, and he was not employing siren and lights. Why hasn’t he been charged with this?
--Why did Encinia threaten Sandra Bland with arrest for Sandra smoking inside her own car? And why did he threaten to Tase her?
--Why was Encinia so careful to get Sandra Bland out of the range of vision of his dash cam?
--When Sandra Bland told Encinia that she was an epileptic, why was his response “Good”?
--Why didn’t Encinia arrange to have Sandra medically checked out, after slamming her head into the ground, especially when she had told him she has epilepsy?
--Encinia stated under oath that he was removing Sandra Bland from her car to make the stop safer. What is safe about slamming her head into the ground? Autopsy results reveal extensive bruising and laceration on various parts of her body, as a result of the stop.
--Why haven’t we been able to see the dashcam video of the female officer who pulled up to help Encinia? Is it because then we could have gotten a very good look at the confrontation?
--Waller County, why did you edit the dashcam video? Everybody caught it. The same cars kept driving by over and over again. What are you hiding?
QUESTIONS PART TWO: BOOKING ROOM VIDEO
or YOUTUBE SEARCH Sandra Bland Waller County Booking Room
--Who is the black male prisoner strolling freely around the booking room, without a jailer accompanying him? And why is he putting on black gloves in at 1:50? These are not work gloves, by the way, bulky or layered. They are “I don’t want to leave behind fingerprints” gloves. Then he goes out a door that leads to the garage not too long before Sandra enters the booking room to go through booking. And why is a male prisoner allowed all of this wandering freedom, including the gloves, and garage access?
QUESTIONS PART THREE: INPROCESSING VIDEO
--Why does the black female in the official Waller Inprocessing Video have a different body type, being stouter and shorter than Sandra Bland?
COMPARE THE TRAFFIC STOP VIDEO, at around 10:38 as the officer makes her exit her car, as opposed to the Waller County Inprocessing Video, at around ten seconds into that video (see link above).
--Why does the black female in the official Waller Inprocessing Video have different hair than Sandra?
--Why does the person in the official Waller County booking video have such darker skin than Sandra?
--Why does the person in the booking video who is supposedly Sandra Bland make certain to cover his/her face when walking right by the camera? For example, at about four seconds into the video, “she” conveniently covers her face for a few seconds just as she walks by the camera.
--Why does the wall in Sandra Bland’s booking video look different than the wall in other booking videos? Why is there no brick mortar line in the wall?
--Why are the pictures in the official booking shots so dark, and then why is there another one that is so light? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN_HemJn7dU
--Are the Sandra Bland pictures so dark and blurry because you were trying to hide the fact that Sandra had been beaten so badly and slammed against the ground during the traffic stop?
--Are the Sandra Bland pictures so dark and blurry because you were trying to hide the fact that those are not pictures of Sandra Bland, but someone pretending to be her throughout the booking video?
--Why is she wearing a pink shirt in one booking shot, and an orange shirt in another booking shot?
--Why does the INPROCESSING VIDEO FREEZE at 22:51? It stays frozen until 23:18. What happened that you are not letting us see? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vffr5ILSSYk (at 1:50)
QUESTIONS PART FOUR: WALLER COUNTY CELL ASSIGNMENT VIDEO:
Who is the gloved prisoner hiding behind a partition near Sandra Bland’s cell for the entire unedited tape? He suspiciously stays hidden in the same place for about half an hour. We first see him for a split second at 1:19 (one minute and nineteen seconds into the video) when part of his torso, his arm and his gloved hand come into view briefly, then he secrets himself behind a large cabinet or wall, away from where he seems to know the camera is. He appears to be the same black prisoner who was roaming freely around the booking room. Why does he stay hidden for a half an hour? Is he Sandra’s murderer? (DON’T MISS JOHN S.’s WORK ON THIS. Find him on YouTube, Channel “JOHN S.”, “THE NIGHT SANDRA BLAND WAS MURDERED, PART 2.):
--From 20:59 to 23:12, the prisoner in the cell on the left “freezes”, indicating missing footage, glitches, editing, etc.?—what did you cut out? (Meanwhile . . .BACK IN WALLER COUNTY INPROCESSING VIDEO (see QUESTIONS, PART III.), the two men leave the room/screen at 22:34. Yet they don’t appear in the CELL assignment, video, i.e., the camera that covers the area they are walking right into from the previous INPROCESSING camera view, until the camera FREEZES AT 22:52. What are they doing during this time? What footage is missing?)
--And why is the next thing we see (23:19) two deputies going down the hall towards Sandra’s cell? Who walked through the area before that that we missed, because of the frozen screen?
--What is the one deputy pulling out of his pocket?
--Why does the deputy with him close the barred hallways door, and then stand in front of it, obscuring any action from the camera? (At approximately 23:40)
--When the two men leave, they go past some cells and then they both go out a door to the left. Where are they going? Are they circling around so that they can come in that rear door near Sandra Bland’s cell; was it left open a few seconds earlier, when one approached that back door and the other stood between the camera and that rear hall action?
--The black “prisoner” with the gloves is still hiding at this point. What is it that the two men signal to him as they back out?
FREEZES ALSO 23:41 24:04=23 SECONDS NOT 26 SECONDS
--Why does the prisoner in the cell to the left freeze at 24:04?
--Why does the camera FREEZE at the end of the CELL ASSIGNMENT VIDEO? Watch the prisoner in the cell on the left freeze at 27:40 and stayed frozen until 27:56, about 16 seconds and long enough for a killer—the man lurking with the black gloves—to be let into Sandra Bland’s cell.
--At 27:55, why is there footage missing?
--At 27:56, right after the video has been frozen for a while, a fat female jailer suddenly “pops” into the frame and slams Sandra’s door shut with her body weight? Why does she close it that way? Is someone in there with Sandra?
HEY, WALLER COUNTY SHERRIF’S DEPARTMENT: Why did you cut crucial information out of the CELL ASSIGNMENT VIDEO at the end when you posted it on YouTube? Someone got a copy of the unedited version, where the female jailer is unpleasantly startled and surprised (exactly 4:11 into the video) to see the black man with the gloves hiding and waiting? Why is this guy lurking? What are you hiding? You must be hiding something, because in the “official”—now code for edited to hide evidence--WALLER COUNTY CHANNEL CELL ASSIGNMENT VIDEO, if one scrolls to the very last minute of the video, we see the same footage as above, with the female jailer leaving Sandra Bland’s cell after putting Bland behind bars—but you, Waller County, choose to cut it off right before she sees the “suspicious” black man. Too many questions?
QUESTIONS PART FIVE: MONDAY MORNING DEATH VIDEO & AUTOPSY
--In the scene where Sandy has been found dead and the EMTs arrive, why did you cut out the shot of a police officer throwing something away in a suspicious manner? It can be found by a YouTube search “throwing something away” Sandra Bland” or some similar variation.
--Why, instead of letting us see the raw footage of the guards finding Sandra dead and the EMTs arriving, do you choose to have a cell phone record it off the monitor, and you choose what we are allowed to see by guiding the cell phone camera? Is that because the raw footage—which someone recorded from a news conference, early in the crisis where you let it slip—shows a guard suspiciously throwing something away, while looking around furtively, just seconds before the EMTs arrive? You came up with two solutions: use a cell phone to zoom in on the monitor with the raw footage, so that the zoom cuts out the footage of the cop suspiciously throwing something away. And then, when everyone started to say that looked like you were trying to hide something, by using a cellphone recording of the monitor, you just show the raw footage, but started it just seconds AFTER the cop threw something away, just as the EMTS arrived.
--Why is there a 50 gallon outdoor/industrial type trash can with a humongous trash bag placed in Sandra Bland’s cell? No jail would ever get such a trash can for such a cell. Other cells seen in the videos do not have such trash cans. Was it because you couldn’t stage a hanging with the tiny little trash bags that go in those tiny little cans?
OR GO TO GOOGLE IMAGES, SEARCH “SANDRA BLAND’S CELL”
--Why is the Bible in Sandra’s cell closed in one post mortem crime scene shot, and open in another shot? Crime scenes are supposed to remain uncontaminated.
--Why did Waller County lie about the time stamps? It is very suspicious that in the CELL ASSIGNMENT VIDEOS, Waller claimed there was no time stamp because they are raw AVI files. But in the Monday Morning death videos, where you have nothing to hide, there is a time stamp, and these are also raw AVI files.
--Is a video without proper time stamps any kind of evidence or proof at all?
--Why did page 2 of the Sandra Bland autopsy speak of the ligature being removed from Sandra Bland at 12:14 p.m., whereas the report written my Marc Langdon, Waller County Jail investigator, said that the ligature was removed at about 9:00 am. That’s what we call in the investigative lingo “a big fat discrepancy”. Others would call it a lie.
--Lastly: if Sandra Bland hanged herself, why isn’t the lividity shown in extremities—as in, if she died in a hanging position, the blood would have puddled, via gravity, into her feet and hands. The autopsy describes the lividity as dorsal—on her back. And with a hanging comes petechiae, which was absent in the autopsy.
And by all means, folks, don’t hold out any hope for the investigation that is to follow the tragic death of Sandra Bland. Don’t imagine that we will be seeing much in the way of justice. Here’s a little glimpse into the heart and soul of the local Waller County Prosecutor Elton Mathis, whom we are entrusting with the sacred job of investigating Bland's death. Not so very long ago, Mathis got very angry and threatening in a series of bizarre and frightening text messages, when a black pastor at Pendleton Chapel Baptist Church requested information on prosecution rates by ethnicity. That smashed opened the hornet’s nest, it would seem. The Reverend Walter Pendleton said he received "threatening and belligerent text messages" from Mathis:
"Don't ever call me again. You went over the line," the prosecutor wrote. Mathis took issue with the pastor's use of the term "selective prosecution" and sent additional, hostile messages. "You are too stupid to know what that word means." "My hounds ain't even started on yer dumb ass. Keep talking. When I talk people will listen. Keep talking and I will sue your ass for slander. It works both ways. 'Dr.' Take your fake Dr. Ass and jump off a high cliff."
This is the man entrusted to mete out justice in Waller County.
Though Mathis admitted that he sent those texts "in anger," the prosecutor said he stands behind them nevertheless. That is unbelievably creepy. And arrogant.
Mathis is carrying on a proud Texas tradition of racism. In 2004, his predecessor, Oliver Kitzman, made sure that the black students of Prairie View were ineligible to vote. He then threatened to prosecute the students if they did try to vote. He even did this in spite of the fact that there had been a Supreme Court ruling granting students the right to vote where they attended college.
But you know how uppity that Supreme Court can be. It’s even integrated now and everything.
Rest in Peace, Dear Sandra.