A dashcam video released by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reveals the real reason for Sandra Bland’s traffic stop. The DSP dashcam video also shows the calm and polite nature of the trooper prior to Bland’s escalation of the situation that resulted in her arrest.
The 52-minute dashcam video (shown below) from Trooper Brian Encinia’s patrol car begins during the conclusion of his traffic stop with another motorist. The video shows Encinia’s behavior towards that motorist as being polite and professional. He issued that driver a warning for their traffic offense. As he pulls back into traffic, Bland’s vehicle can be seen approaching a stop sign to his left. The video clearly shows Bland rolling through the stop sign.
Editor’s note: The original video below was located on the Texas Department of Public Safety YouTube page. They have since removed the video from their page. It has been replaced below by a copy of what appears to be the same video courtesy of YouTube/Photography is not a Crime.
Encinia appears to notice the stop sign violation and does a U-turn to go after her. As he approaches her vehicle, she moves to the right lane without signaling, a second traffic violation. Encinia approaches her vehicle using standard officer safety procedures. He checks the trunk and then cautiously walks up to her passenger side window.
The trooper and Ms. Bland have a polite conversation. He identifies himself as a DPS trooper and tells her he stopped her for changing lanes without signaling. For some reason, he does not mention the stop sign violation. He gets her driver’s license and insurance card, checks her vehicle registration and inspection sticker and returns to his car where he prepares a warning citation, just as he had done with his prior stop. A warning citation carries no fine, court appearance, or driving record impact.
When he returns to her car she appears angry. He asks, “Are you okay?” She responds angrily, “I’m waiting on you, this is your job.” They exchange a few more words where she clearly displays anger.
Trooper Encinia politely asks her to put out her cigarette. This is a common request by officers and is done for the officer’s safety to protect them from being burned, according to law enforcement officers who spoke with Breitbart Texas.
She refuses to comply, so he orders her to step out of the vehicle. She refuses and the situation begins to escalate. She appears to have refused two lawful orders from a police officer at this point.
Case law states that law enforcement officers have the right to remove someone from a vehicle once they have decided to detain the person, according to a trusted law enforcement professional who spoke with this writer.
At this point she begins resisting as the trooper attempts to take her out of the vehicle. She has now moved from getting an inconsequential warning ticket to being arrested for allegedly resisting and refusing a lawful order.
In the photo above (top), Bland is seen being escorted to the curb by Trooper Encinia. He is holding a Taser that is pointed in her direction.
From this point a physical confrontation begins, mostly off-camera and the trooper makes the arrest. Most of this is witnessed by another black, female police officer who arrived to back-up the trooper.
Trooper Encinia alleges that Bland kicked him while he was trying to detain her.
Due to some issues in the video, media outlets questioned whether the video was edited or not. DPS officials confirmed the video was not edited, but there were some “glitches” in the system. The “glitches” occurred at about the 25 minute mark in the video, which is well past the point of confrontation. At this point, Bland is handcuffed and has been placed in a patrol car.
Claims of racial profiling have also been made by various news outlets. The stop occurred near the entrance to Prairie View A&M University which is a predominantly black university. The overwhelming demographic of the population in this area is black. Bland clearly ran the stop sign, right in front of the trooper. His immediate U-Turn clearly shows this is the reason for his stop.