Harbeer Sandhu
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Police Lies and Omissions Exposed in Sandra Bland Arrest

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The investigation into Sandra Bland’s suspicious death in Waller County Jail continues, with the district attorney announcing that he will work with a committee of independent lawyers that will have subpoena power and the ability to bring the case to a grand jury, should the DA, himself, fail to do so. The first two lawyers appointed to the panel — Darrell Jordan and Lewis White — are criminal defense attorneys (and African American, to boot), so there may be hope yet that this committee isn’t being convened just to toe the party line and rubber stamp cops’ and prosecutors’ official statements.

Speaking of official statements, Rachel Clarke at Houston Indymedia has done a tremendous job of exposing arresting officer Brian Encinia’s bald-faced lies and self-serving omissions. In this segment from the Indymedia radio show (audio and transcript below), Clarke juxtaposes Encinia’s phone call to his supervisor immediately after he arrested Bland with audio from Encinia’s patrol car dashcam. The “discrepancies” are too large to be called anything but what they are — lies.

Check out this brief segment below — Encinia’s lies and omissions when speaking to his supervisor are astounding — and tune in to KPFT 90.1 FM every Friday at 7:30 pm for the Houston Indymedia radio show (and make a pledge, if you can).

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

 
 
In response to a second week of pressure by Sandra Bland’s loved ones and concerned citizens, the dashcam video of Ms. Bland’s arrest was released this week. As corporate news outlets catch up, it was predictably tinged with victim blaming, angry black woman stereotypes, and character assassination…

CNN contributor and former NYPD detective Harry Houck: The whole thing that’s here is that she was very arrogant from the beginning, very dismissive of the officer, alright she was very uncooperative…

CNN political contributor Marc Lamont: She said “I’m in my car why do I have to put out my cigarette?”

Shawn Anthony, Host of Flow of Wisdom Radio: Huffington Post Black Voices: Read the title of this article, it says, “Sandra Bland Swallowed or Smoked Large Quantity of Marijuana in Jail, DA.”

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis: Sandra Bland was very combative. It was not a model traffic stop, and it was not a model person that was stopped on a traffic stop.

The debate remains as to whether Ms. Bland did, in fact, commit suicide like officials in Waller County, Texas claim, or if there was something more sinister. The focus must remain, however, on the reality that Sandra Bland is the latest in a long line of African Americans killed by law enforcement officials. Let’s flip the script and examine arresting officer Brian Encinia’s character.

Encinia is currently on administrative desk duty, having been removed from the streets for what Texas Troopers state is a violation of their procedures and “courtesy policy.” Is that enough? While I am sure listeners out there have seen and heard the disturbing video from the dash cam arrest footage, we are going to re-examine it against Officer Brian Encinia’s account to his commanding officer immediately following Ms. Bland being taken into custody.

Brian Encinia to his supervisor, immediately following the arrest:

I was trying to get her out over to sign, and you know, just explain to her what was going on, because I couldn’t even– I couldn’t even get to do what I was telling her, I mean she just started going, This is an MF, and you’re giving me a m-f-ing ticket for a lane change. I mean, she just started going – I just stepped back in the car and was like, Are you done, ma’am? I need to tell you why that I’m giving you…and it just kept on (inaudible).

Dashcam footage of arrest:

Brian Encinia: Well, you seem very irritated.
Bland: I am. I really am because I feel it’s crap for what I’m getting a ticket for. I was getting out of your way. You were speeding up, tailing me, so I move over and you stop me. So yeah, I am a little irritated, but that doesn’t stop you from giving me a ticket. So…
Encinia: Are you done?
Bland: You asked me what was wrong, and I told you.
Encinia: Okay.
Bland: So now I’m done, yeah.

Brian Encinia to his supervisor, immediately following the arrest:

I didn’t say, “You’re under arrest.” I never said, you know, “Stop. Hands up.”

Dashcam footage of arrest:

Encinia: Get out of the car now or I’m gonna remove you.
Bland: I’m (inaudible) and I’m calling my lawyer–
Encinia: I’m gonna yank you out of here.
Bland: Okay, you’re going to yank me out of my car? Okay.
Encinia: (calls on radio for backup)
Bland: Alright. Let’s do this.
Encinia: Yeah, we’re going to.
Bland: Don’t touch me.
Encinia: GET OUT OF THE CAR.
Bland: Don’t touch me. I’m not under arrest. You don’t have the right to– take me out of the car.
Encinia: You are under arrest.
Bland: I’m under arrest for what? For what? (pause) For what?

Sandra Bland would ask Officer Brian Encinia 14 times why she was being arrested. Officer Encinia failed to respond. Based on video footage, the arrest stemmed from Sandra Bland smoking a cigarette in her vehicle. In addition, Officer Encinia fails to disclose verbally or in the later written report he threatened to “light (Ms. Bland) up” with his taser.

Dashcam footage of arrest:

Bland: What? What are you– Why am I being arrested?
Encinia: Put your hands behind your back and turn around. Put your hands behind your back.
Bland: Cause you know this is straight bullshit. Man, you full of shit.

Brian Encinia to his supervisor, immediately following the arrest:

I even de-escalated once we were on the pavement. You know, on the sidewalk. So I allowed time. I’m not saying I just threw her to the ground. I mean, I allowed time. I kept telling her to calm down, calm down.

Dashcam footage of arrest:

Encinia: I will light you up! GET OUT!
Bland: Wow.
Encinia: NOW!
Bland: Wow.
Encinia: GET OUT OF THE CAR!
Bland: Really, for a failure to signal? You’re doing all this for a failure to signal?
Encinia: Get over there.
Bland: Right, yeah. Yeah, let’s take this to court. Let’s do this.
Encinia: Go ahead.
Bland: For a failure to signal. Yep. For a failure to signal!
Encinia: Get off the phone.
Bland: (inaudible, sounds like “From my school!”)
Encinia: Get off the phone.
Bland: I’m not on the phone. I have a right–
Encinia: Put your phone down.
Bland: — to record. This is my property.
Encinia: Put your phone down.
Bland: — property. Sir?
Encinia: Put your phone down, right now! Put your phone down.
Bland: What are you– Why are…?
Encinia: Put your hands behind your back and turn around.
Bland: Why am I being arrested?
Encinia: Turn around.
Bland: Why can’t you tell me why–
Encinia: I’m giving you a lawful order. I will tell you.
Bland: Why am I being arrested?
Encinia: Turn around.
Bland: Why don’t you tell me that part?
Encinia: I’m giving you a lawful order. Turn around.
Bland: Why will you not tell me–
Encinia: You are not compliant.
Bland: I’m not compliant because you just pulled me out of my car.
Encinia: Turn around.
Encinia: You were getting a warning, until now. You’re going to jail.
Bland: Oh, for what? For what?
Encinia: You can come read right–
Bland: I’m getting a warning for what? For what?
Encinia: Stay right here.
Bland: For what? Well, you just pointed me over there.
Encinia: I said, stay right here. Stop moving.
Bland: I’m standing still. You’re pulling me, God damn it. Don’t touch me.
Encinia: Come with me right over here. This right here says a warning. You started creating the problem.
Bland: You asked me what was wrong. Break my wrist. Can you stop?
Bland: (inaudible) asshole. You’re about to break my wrist. Can you stop? You’re about to break my wrist. Stop!
Encinia: Stop moving! STOP NOW! STOP IT!
Backup officer: Stop resisting, ma’am.
Bland: Inaudible crying.
Encinia: IF YOU WOULD STOP, THEN I WOULD TELL YOU!

Officer Encinia and other officials would also claim that Sandra Bland did not disclose any injuries at the time of arrest.

Dashcam footage of arrest:

Bland: You just slammed me. Knocked my head into the ground, I got epilepsy, you motherfucker.
Encinia: Good. Good.
Bland: Whatever. If I could – I can’t even–
Encinia: Okay, roll over.
Bland: I can’t even fuckin’ feel my arm.
Encinia: Tuck your knee in. Tuck your knee in.
Bland: God damn. I can’t – I can’t
Backup officer: Tuck your knee in. Tuck your knees in front of you.
Encinia: Listen. Listen. You gotta – sit on your butt.
Bland: You just slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that?
Encinia: Sit up on your butt.

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis:

There were no reported injuries by Ms. Bland to jail staff and no additional medical treatment was requested.

Brian Encinia to his supervisor, immediately following the arrest:

She’s in the back of the car right now. She requested EMS because, she said I– I threw her down intentionally.

Internet source Raw Story reports that more black Americans were killed in 2014 by police than died during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. While 215 perished on that day, the watchdog group Killed by Police counts 235 deaths of African Americans in 2014. Sandra Bland was among a growing movement of young black activists taking to the streets and social media to call attention and change this. You don’t have to take my word for it, I leave you instead with Sandra Bland in her own words, ‘Black Lives Matter.’

Today’s Sandy Speaks is going to focus directly on my white people. White people. Yes. Black people know that all lives matter, but what I need you guys to understand is that being a black person in America is very, very hard.

Although you all love to say, ‘Oh, nobody should see race. People are the reason that racism is still alive.”

Well, what kind of people are the reason?

Black racists have no power, whereas white racists do. They have power because they are in positions of control or they are in positions where they can influence the control over black people. Yes, that is very true.

So, to my friends who want to get on my videos and they’re upset about the pictures that I posted…oh well! I will not apologize for it, because at the moment, Black Lives Matter. They matter.

Our media is showing you…obviously they don’t. So for y’all that can sit around and say,
‘All lives matter,’ I want you to go, put it on a poster, and stand out on a corner somewhere.

If we can get enough white people to show that all lives matter, maybe they’ll stop killing our brothers. ‘Cause obviously that’s what it’s going to take — for the white people to get up and get tired of black people saying Black Lives Matter. So if y’all want it to stop, you get out there and do something about it, but what you’re not going to do is get on my page with the foolishness.

I am not a racist. I grew up in Villa Park, IL, was the only black girl on the all-white cheerleading squad, so I had to learn how to deal with and…black people, you will not be successful in this world until you learn how to work with white people. But I want the white folks to really understand out there, black people are truly, we’re doing as much as we can. Not all of us, but some of us are really doing as much as we can. And we can’t help but get pissed off when we see situations where it’s clear that black life didn’t matter.

For those of you questioning why was he running away, well god damn. Because in the news that we’ve seen as of late, you could stand there, surrender to the cops, and still be killed.

So for those of you that feel like “All lives matter,” if you want to put it on a poster I will stand out there with you.

Show me in American history where all lives have mattered. Show me where there has been “Liberty and justice for all,” like that Pledge of Allegiance we love to say.

White people, if all lives mattered, would there need to be a hashtag for Black Lives Matter? Think about that.