Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Recorded Her Own Video of Traffic Stop Confrontation – The New York Times
After the trooper told her to “get off the phone,” Ms. Bland responded: “I’m not on the phone. I have a right to record. This is my property.”
“Put your phone down,” Mr. Encinia repeated. “Put your phone down right now.”
The video was released by WFAA in partnership with the nonprofit Investigative Network. Its chief reporter, Brian Collister, said the video had been in the hands of law investigators until it was obtained by his news organization. Members of Ms. Bland’s family called on Texas officials to re-examine the case after Mr. Collister showed them the video, according to the WFAA report.
“Open up the case, period,” Ms. Bland’s sister, Shante Needham, told the station. “We know they have an extremely, extremely good cover-up system.”
Mr. Lambert, the family’s lawyer, told The Times that the release of the video raised questions about prosecutors’ decision not to press ahead with the perjury case, saying the recording undercut Mr. Encinia’s claim that he feared for his safety.
“So if the video showed that he had no basis of being in fear of his safety, and he lied about that, then you would think they would be using that video,” he said, calling prosecutors’ decision not pursue the case “extremely troubling.”
A team of five special prosecutors was assigned to the grand jury investigation. One of the team members Shawn McDonald, a Houston lawyer, said on Monday that he was not involved in the decision to drop the charges and pushed back at Mr. Lambert’s criticism of the team’s performance.
“For him to come back three years later is frankly quite ridiculous,” said Mr. McDonald, who added that he was “proud” of the investigation into the case.