A Waller County Texas Sheriff was more concerned with scaring away a witness recording, than the brutal arrest of Sandra Bland, a 28 year old African-American woman driving though his central Texas jurisdiction.
It doesn’t appear as if the Texas sheriff succeeded in obtaining the phone because so far, a video entitled “Sandra Bland arrest” is circulating on youtube has over 150,000 views.
Footage cuts out after 91 seconds when Sandra Bland said “Thank you for recording” to the still anonymous witness for recording the two officers whose knees were on her back.
Nobody knows exactly what happened, but at 7am she had a normal morning meal at the Wallen County Jail, and by 9am she was dead.
This is why police must always be recorded.
Officials claim suicide.
Her family isn’t buying it.
— chauntina clark (@ChauntinaC) July 15, 2015
At one point, Sandra Bland can be heard saying “I can’t feel my arm…. You just slammed my head on the pavement. Don’t you not even care about that? I can’t even hear.”
Jail officials are claiming the 28 year old college graduate, who was awaiting $500 bail and returning to her alma mater Prairie View A&M for a job committed suicide.
Suicide has become such a jail cliche that it’s difficult to believe unless we have video evidence confirming it to be true.
Using nothing more than google, Chauntina managed to unearth a recent and eerily similar incident from the Houston Chronicle’s archives.
This tweet by Sandra’s cousin shows that depression is uncommonly high for those in Wallen County Jail on minor traffic offenses, like that of James Harper Howell, IV last November.
— chauntina clark (@ChauntinaC) July 16, 2015
Now there are countless questions about an incident with officers from both the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) as well as the county officer.
The obvious neurological damage suffered by Sandra Bland is evident from her many words in the video below. Loss of hearing, numbness in extremities and blows to the head can result in closed head wounds.
We spoke with PINAC Investigator Felipe Hemming, who spent 25 years as a paramedic and first responder about the possible medical implications and complications of such injuries in our podcast below.
While there are many possibilities, amongst them is the possibility of an aneurism or bursting of a cranial blood vessel, which could cause a sudden and rapid expiration of the sufferer.
It’s also possible that a physical confrontation or trauma may have proceeded Sandra Bland’s demise, or theoretically it could be a suicide as well – though all friends and family have described the 28 year old as strong willed.
It will take 10 days to find out more about the original incident because of the weak public records laws in Texas.
So we won’t know more until a medical examiner’s report and photographs are released, and until an independent autopsy is prepared too.
Sadly, knowing will never bring Sandra Bland back, but maybe it will help the next innocent stranger driving through Wallen County Texas.