Glitches In Dashcam Video of Sandra Bland Arrest Raise Questions

July 22nd 2015

Kyle Jaeger

The dashcam footage of Sandra Bland's arrest contains several apparent glitches, loops in the video that the Texas Department of Public Health said were caused by "technical problems" in the uploading process. Others have expressed concerns about the integrity of the footage, alleging that it had been doctored in an effort to conceal information and protect the state trooper who pulled Bland over on July 10. 

Here is the dashcam video footage of Sandra Bland's arrest.

New police dashcam video reveals how the Sandra Bland arrest escalated. The full video can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1MHb4IZ

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On July 13, Bland was found dead in her jail cell. The 28-year-old Black woman from Naperville, Illinois, was supposed to start a new job near Houston, but after a state trooper pulled her over for an "improper lane change," something happened. The Waller County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that Bland died "from what appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation," but Bland's friends and family have their doubts.

In the video, Texas DPS officer Brian Encinia approached the vehicle, informed Bland that she was receiving a warning for an improper lane change, and then walked back to his patrol car. Shortly after he returned to the driver side of Bland's car, Encinia could be heard asking, "[Y]ou mind putting out your cigarette, please?"

Bland asked why she had to put out the cigarette when she was in her own vehicle, and Encinia's demeanor appeared to change. He replied, "[W]ell you can step on out now." A tense back-and-forth ensued; Bland repeatedly asked why she had to leave her car, demanding to know whether or not she was getting arrested.

"I refuse to talk to you other than to identify myself," Bland told the officer before he forcibly removed her. Encinia declined to provide a reason for the arrest other than the fact that he had given her a "lawful order" to exit the car and pulls out his Taser.

"I will light you up," Encinia warned. Then, out of view from the dashcam, he managed to get Bland on the ground where she can be heard crying, "[y]ou're about to break my wrist... I've got epilepsy, motherfucker," to which the officer responded bluntly: "Good." 

The case is now being treated as a murder investigation by the Waller County Sheriff's office, Texas Rangers, and FBI. 

TranscriptOn behalf of the Waller County Sheriff’s Office, we again want to express our sincere condolences to the...

Posted by Waller County Sheriff's Office on Monday, July 20, 2015

The department defended the dashcam footage as accurate, though officials acknowledged that the glitches existed. They told reporters on Wednesday that a new version of the video would be uploaded by the end of the day. 

If you watch closely, there are inconsistencies in multiple frames. Cars and people disappear and reappear at random; the scenes seem to be out of order in some cases. "The audio ends more than a minute before the video images do," the Los Angeles Times added.  

Texas authorities did not say that the video had been edited when they first released the video Tuesday, but the frequency of these reported glitches has raised questions about the department's motive for making the dashcam footage available to the public in the first place. 

Twenty-five minutes into the 52-minute-long video, a man can be seen walking away from a truck off scene. Then suddenly he reappears, as if the frame is on a loop, back in the place where he began walking. There was a brief fluttering of the video image before it resumes. 

Later in the video—approximately 32 minutes in—a white car appears on the right side of the frame. It disappears only to reappear, turning left, moments later. You can watch the full video here. 

Cannon Lambert, an attorney for the Bland family, told The Times that the dashcam footage "doesn't give us any more understanding of what actually happened to her."