Celebrities have taken to social media to express their outrage following the release of new dashcam video showing the arrest of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman whose jailhouse death has caused a national uproar.
In the newly released video, the officer can be seen pulling over Bland for failure to use a traffic signal on July 10.
During the stop, Texas state trooper Brian Encinia orders Bland to get out of the car after asking if she could put her cigarette out. That’s when he reached inside the vehicle in efforts to pull her out. Encinia then proceeds to pull out his taser and threaten, “I will light you up.”
While out of the car, Sandra was put in cuffs and eventually taken down to the ground. Audio from the video shows Bland yelling “you slammed my f*cking head to the ground … Do you not even care about that?”
And in cell phone footage posted on YouTube, the officer can be seen using his knee against Bland’s back during the arrest. The Chicago native was taken into custody after she allegedly “kicked” the officer and when he “put her in handcuffs.”
Jussie Smollett tweeted:
The video has also lead many to believe that the visual was edited. Ava DuVernay is one of several who thinks it was “cut” and that it is leaving something out.
“I edit footage for a living,” she tweeted. “But anyone can see that this official video has been cut. Read/watch. Why?
“Glitches. Motion sensors. Clouds. Reasons from those who say
#SandraBland vid is pristine. Doesn’t explain loops + audio cuts. But, um, ok.”
However, on Wednesday morning, officials from the Texas Department of Safety stated that “the video has not been edited.”
The story gained major national attention three days after Bland’s arrest, when she was found dead in her Waller County Jail cell. Authorities say Bland, who just accepted a new job at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, killed herself. The 28-year-old was found hanging in her cell by a trash bag.
Sandra was discovered “in her cell not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation” a statement from officials stated.
On Monday, jailhouse video was released of officials rushing to Bland’s cell after she was found dead.
As for the officer who arrested Bland, he has been assigned to administrative duties. “We have identified violations of the department’s procedures regarding traffic stops and the department’s courtesy policy,” a department statement read.
According to the Waller County District Attorney, the case is being treated as a murder investigation even though her death was initially ruled a suicide.
It’s also been confirmed that following a thorough investigation, a grand jury will deliver a decision.