TEXAS (CNN) – The family of an African American woman who died while in police custody are demanding answers about how she died.
Police say Sandra Bland committed suicide, something her family does not believe. However, the video of her arrest is also raising questions about how police handled the situation.
It started as a traffic stop. Texas state trooper Brian Encinia pulled Sandra Bland over for allegedly failing to use her turn single. The situation quickly escalated:
Officer: Get out of the car. I will light you up! Get out!
Bland: Wow. Wow.
Officer: Now! Get outta the car!
A bystander caught video that the dashcam did not of Encinia forcibly holding bland down. She was put under arrest and taken to jail. Three days later she was found dead in her Waller County jail cell. The Waller County Sheriff’s Department says she committed suicide.
Her family believes there is more to the story and wants answers.
“We want everything that happened from the time that the police interfaced with Sandy up until when she was found to have died and beyond to come to light,” said Cannon Lambert, the Bland Family Attorney.
The Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating Bland’s death but say it’s too early to make any conclusions.
On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety released new dash cam video of Bland’s arrest.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit Bland was placed in handcuffs for quote “officer safety.” Meanwhile, civil rights leaders have held peaceful protests and vigils across the country.
Another incident that could be a flashpoint in the on-going debate about police use of force. According to the Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith, Sandra Bland told Waller County jailer during her intake that she had previously tried to kill herself. Smith provided no further details but tell’s CNN that Waller County plans on releasing the jail intake forms Wednesday night.
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