ACLU Comment On Sandra Bland Video Released By The Texas Department of Public Safety

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
July 22, 2015 3:30 pm

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HOUSTON – Yesterday, the Texas Department of Public Safety released a dashcam video of State Trooper Brian Encinia’s July 10 traffic stop of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman who was allegedly pulled over for failure to signal while changing lanes. Bland was subsequently arrested, charged with assault on a public servant, and booked into Waller County jail, where, three days later, she was found dead in her cell “not breathing from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation,” per a statement from the Waller County Sheriff’s Office.

Rebecca L. Robertson, legal & policy director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas:

“The video of Sandra Bland’s interaction with the DPS officer who pulled her over in Waller County raises serious concerns about whether her Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Of course, an officer has the legal authority to use force, if necessary, and to arrest someone who has broken the law, but that authority is not unlimited. Force must be proportional to the circumstances. Arrest is only justified if the officer has probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed. The video doesn’t show every aspect of the interaction, but it certainly raises questions about whether that level of force and Ms. Bland’s arrest were constitutionally permissible.”

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