Offline Marvelous

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Listen to the SoundCloud, they lay down some interesting fact, a lot of Texans like myself, with the same last name as Sandra Bland.  I've yet to find out if she was related.  Or just read the fact, really interesting to me especially living is this red state, we may be crazy but we ain't Florida crazy yet.

a) An idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about.
b) A liar who is a fan who can't admit it to himself or others."

Offline Battle

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From the article:

Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, speaks with Texas Standard about the footage of the arrest, point-by-point. Here’s a transcript of the conversation, edited for brevity and clarity:

1. The trooper asks, “You mind putting out your cigarette please?” And Ms. Bland says, “Well, I’m in my car – why do I have to put out my cigarette?” Does she have to put out her cigarette?

“No, she doesn’t have to put out her cigarette. And you wonder why the officer is even bothering with that. This is part of his escalation of the whole event that unfolded, unfortunately.”

2. The next part: “Step out of the car.” Ms. Bland says, “You do not have the right.” He interrupts – “I do have the right, step out of the car or I will remove you.” Does he have the right, first, to order her to step out of the car, and second, to actually physically remove her from the car?

“He does not have the right to say get out of the car. He has to express some reason. ‘I need to search your car,’ or, whatever; he needs to give a reason. He can’t just say ‘get out of the car’ for a traffic offense.”

3.  It’s one thing to say he has a reason; it’s another to say he has to give a reason. He may have had probable cause, or thought he had it, we don’t know. Does he have to state it?

“He doesn’t have to state probable cause; he has to state some reason … And that’s part of the training that he should have had about how to de-escalate a situation. She’s clearly upset about what happened, particularly – as we know later on – that she moved over because he was tailing her. … He should be working on de-escalation. That’s the key. ”

4. Ms. Bland says, “I refuse to talk to you other than to identify myself.” Is she right or wrong?

“She’s right. Unfortunately, officers don’t like it when you know the law. In this case, even if you are right, you are still in danger. And that’s what we see unfolding here.”

5. The trooper says, “I am giving you a lawful order.” Now, is the is the lawful order to extinguish the cigarette, or to get out of the car, or neither?

“You can’t tell why. Certainly, telling her to put out the cig was not a lawful order. Just saying ‘Get out of the car,’ in and of itself, without an explanation, is not lawful. And you see him say that throughout the video without ever saying why [or] what’s going on here. It’s clear to me that he’s trying to assert authority that he probably does not have under the law, and he’s escalating the situation because he is upset. [He] doesn’t exercise the training that he needs to be exercising to de-escalate this situation.”

6. “I’m gonna yank you out of here,” is what the trooper says. Can he physically “yank” her out of her vehicle?

“He can’t do that either, unless she’s posing a threat to his welfare and safety. What he should have done was just wait for backup, if he couldn’t de-escalate it himself. But you don’t just pull somebody out of the car, and point that taser in her face. What if it had gone off? She’d have permanent brain damage.”

7. She says, “Dont touch me, I’m not under arrest.” Trooper says, “You are under arrest. She says, “Under arrest for what?” He then turns to his shoulder mounted radio, and asks for another unit. Does he have an obligation as a law enforcement officer to tell her why she is under arrest?

“Yes. He needs to – it’s not clear to her what’s going on. He needs to tell her, ‘You’re under arrest because …,’ but you can’t really tell her that. Because you can’t tell from the video that there’s any reason to have her under arrest.

8.  She asserts her right to record this with her cell phone. That’s a right that has been clearly established. Is that true?

“She has a right to do that. But that’s another example where the officer perceives this as a challenge to his authority – and it further escalates the whole scenario.”

9.  When he says “get out of the car, or I will light you up,” he is apparently referring to the use of a taser. Is that a legitimate threat? Is that something that’s okay for officers to do in that situation?

“No – here’s the situation where he is clearly violating her constitutional rights. This is excessive force on the part of the officer – to take that taser and point it in her face and say, ‘I’m going to harm you.’ Taser is the last recourse to a gun. And if he can’t get her out, he can’t de-escalate it, he’s got to wait for another officer to come and talk through this.”

10.  Right now, the trooper has been placed on administrative duty. He’s not on leave, he’s still working for DPS. It’s our understanding that there is a violation of policy here – he should not have allowed it to escalate.

We are talking about a certain level of discretion that the state apparently entrusts with its troopers. Should officers have that much discretion?

“He clearly exceeded that. … The discretion here is, how do you de-escalate the situation? He could have just given her the ticket and walked away. Just like that. But he had to go through this confrontation. Of course, there are questions of race that come up here. And the fact that this is an out-of-state car moving through the town – and we know in Texas that’s a pretty typical profiling event. What bothers me a lot is that troopers are supposed to be the best-trained police officers we have in the state. This guy is clearly out of control – clearly shouldn’t be out on the streets dealing with people – [given] this level of escalation that he provokes.”

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Great post.  Part of what pissed this incompetent, troublemaking officer off was that she clearly knew the law better than he did.

Offline Marvelous

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Thanks for taking the time posting that brotha Battle. I was but I like dayum, thats too much!   ;)

a) An idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about.
b) A liar who is a fan who can't admit it to himself or others."

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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In the video of Sandra Bland’s arrest, the tape doesn’t lie

By Ty Burr GLOBE STAFF  JULY 23, 2015
This is a tale of two stories, the official version and the one we can see with our own eyes. They’re both on the record, captured on videotape. And the difference is damning.

A lot has been written about the roughly eight minutes of police dashboard-camera video in which Sandra Bland was pulled over and arrested. Hardly anything has been written about the 10 minutes further on in which the arresting officer tells his story over the radio to his supervisor. This is a shame, because it is in those 10 minutes that we witness the reality of institutional power get recontextualized into a narrative of institutional blamelessness.

On July 10, Bland, a 28-year-old Illinois native, was in Waller County, Texas, visiting her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, where she had recently been hired in a student outreach position. Texas state trooper Brian Encinia charged her with a traffic violation. An altercation ensued; Bland was forcibly removed from her car, handcuffed, and taken to the Waller County Jail, where she was charged with assault on a police officer and held on a $5,000 bond.

Bland was active in the Black Lives Matter movement and had a deeply felt interest in effecting change; during her arrest, she was vocal about taking her case to court. She was about to start a good job. During her three days in jail, she left a calm and collected voicemail for a friend.

Yet on July 13, hours before her sister was to arrive with $500 bail, Bland was found dead in her cell of asphyxiation, a garbage can cord tied around her neck. Police issued a statement saying she had hanged herself and, according to a county autopsy report released Thursday, her injuries were consistent with suicide.

The 52-minute police car dashboard-cam video released by the Texas Department of Public Safety on July 21 provides no answers. But it does lay bare the sickeningly stark dissonance between what actually happened during her arrest and what Trooper Encinia says happened.

The video is a one-shot masterpiece of found cinema. The unmoving, unjudging frame, filmed from behind the windshield of the trooper’s car, offers moments of banality and terror in equal measure — if you’re in a pointy-headed turn of mind, you know that Warhol would have approved. But this video doesn’t put you in a pointy-headed turn of mind.

It begins with the final moments of a previous incident, Trooper Encinia issuing a warning to a young woman, apparently for speeding. Nor does she apparently have an insurance card. But he’s paternal and chatty, laughing as he reminds her to e-mail her dad for the insurance information. Is she white? We don’t know. The girl drives off and turns left, passing Bland, who turns right and passes the police car. The trooper pulls a U-turn and follows her. He has his next violation. It feels a little like stalking.

At 2:52 on the tape, he has her pulled over and takes her license, telling her she failed to signal a lane change; she claims she only moved into the right lane to let him by. At 8:34, after running her information, he returns to Bland’s car to give her a warning.

This is when the power games begin. Encinia will later be heard telling his sergeant on the radio that “she wouldn’t even look at me, she was looking straight ahead. Just . . . mad.” He seems to decide to goad her a bit, maybe bristling at her lack of proper respect. “OK?” he asks. “I’m waiting on you, this is your job,” she replies tersely. “You seem irritated,” he responds, which is not the best thing to say to someone who’s irritated. Bland admits she is, in fact, irritated.

Maybe she was having a bad day, or maybe she was having a good day that had just turned bad. Maybe she forgot what our parents told us and what we tell our children, which is to “yes sir, no sir” our way through any encounter with the police, especially if we’re from out of town. Maybe she just didn’t care anymore. Maybe she had just had enough. None of which asks for or excuses what happened next: a textbook example of an insecure and inexperienced cop who will brook no questioning — not even a scintilla — of his power. That the questioning came from a black woman in a county with a notably sorry racial history, in and out of the police department, may have nothing at all to do with it. And the Red Sox may win the World Series this year.

At 9:21, rather oddly, Encinia demands Bland extinguish her cigarette. He asks “politely,” with a “please,” but this is the fulcrum, right here. The specifics of the request don’t matter — he could be asking her to stand on her head and rub her belly — but her absolute obedience to his will does. It’s a test, and she fails it. “I’m in my car. Why do I have to put out my cigarette?” Bland asks. She’s technically and legally correct, but that’s all the trooper needs to hear. His voice turns sharp as he pulls close to the car door and says, “Well, you can step on out now.”

She refuses. It escalates, and quickly, with Encinia’s tone growing more and more threatening.

9:37: “Step out, or I will remove you. I am giving you a lawful order.”

9:59: “I am going to yank you out of here!”

10:25: “Why am I being apprehended?” Bland demands to know. She gets no answer.

10:30: Encinia waves his Taser at her and bellows “GET OUT OF THE CAR — I WILL LIGHT YOU UP!” Bland’s response: “Wow. You’re doing all of this for a failure to signal? . . . Let’s take this to court.” More insubordination. Unforgivable.

He gets her out of the car, but Bland has passed the point of no return and so has Encinia — since he has the power, it’s a losing game for her. She berates him and asks over and over why she’s being arrested and still she gets no answer; eventually he will tell her she’s being arrested for resisting arrest, a response that is worthy of Kafka. She is dragged off camera and handcuffed, and we hear her angry taunts turn to screams and whimpers of pain.

13:20: “You’re breaking my wrists!”

13:50: “I’ve got epilepsy, [expletive]!” Encinia’s response: “Good.”

We have just witnessed a drama of escalation that simply didn’t have to be. Surely, officers of the law are capable of dealing with frustrated, surly, angry people without bending the situation into a showdown. What was it that made Bland an active threat that had to be contained and put in its place? Her color? Or that her color combined with intransigence translates to “uppity” in this and many other parts of America, and that there is no official response to “uppity” other than to put it down hard.

But this is only the first half of the tale. The second comes several minutes later, the camera continuing to record as Bland’s car is searched, and Encinia, sitting in his vehicle, can be heard discussing the incident with his sergeant. Here is where we hear the trooper revise the narrative of what has just occurred, unconsciously or not, so that he can come out the level-headed good guy.

At 23:35 on the tape, he says “I tried to de-escalate her and I wasn’t getting anywhere at all. . . . I tried talking to her, calming her down, and that was not working. I’m trying to get her detained, trying to get her to calm down, just calm her down, stop throwing your arms around. She never swung at me, just flailing, stomping around, and I said, all right, that’s enough, and that’s when I detained her.”

This is in flagrant contradiction of everything we’ve just witnessed; it is, quite simply, a lie. At no time did Trooper Encinia attempt to “de-escalate” the situation with Bland. On the contrary, he pushed it forward until it exploded — until he exploded.

Still talking with his supervisor, Encinia is heard reading the definitions of “assault” and “resisting arrest,” trying to decide which charge would best fit. 27:00: “I kinda lean toward assault rather than resist. I mean, technically, she’s under arrest when the traffic stop is initiated. You’re not free to go. I didn’t say ‘you’re under arrest,’ ‘stop, hands up.’ That did not occur. There was just the assault part.”

Welcome to American roadside justice, where you’re arrested the moment you’re pulled over and they figure out what for later. 33:58: Encinia is laughing by now. The sergeant apparently asks if he was hurt in the incident. “I got some cuts on my hand,” he replies. “I guess it is an injury. I don’t need medical attention. I got three little circles from I guess the handcuffs when she was twisting away from me.” This will later morph into further proof that Bland assaulted Encinia. Again the trooper insists, “I only took enough force as seemed necessary — I even de-escalated once we were on the pavement.”

He seems to believe it by now. It sounds good, true, strong. He has convinced himself he’s a decent guy. That he did the right thing.

Bland is nowhere in sight. In three days, she’ll be dead in mysterious circumstances, the FBI and Texas Rangers will intervene, and the officer will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The system — of which the dash-cam is now a part — would seem to be working, but only the naive would think the system doesn’t also work to protect its own.

At 34:26 on the tape, having successfully relieved himself of any culpability, Trooper Brian Encinia takes a moment to ponder what just happened and why. “Y’know, over a simple traffic stop,” he tells his sergeant. “I don’t get it. I really don’t.”

No, sir, you don’t. You don’t get it at all. That is precisely the point. And it’s the very least we can say about this appalling and outrageous tragedy of power and race.

Offline Battle

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I swear, viewing that footage was like a scene straight out of 'Schindler's List'.

There is no power on this Earth that can allow someone in a uniform to molest a female African-American citizen, in a democracy, in a supposed free country in a such a manner.  >:(

That cretin should be immediately terminated, tried & convicted.

Offline Marvelous

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Saw this comment today.

26 Activities Black People Should Avoid Around Cops

Don't play in the park with toy guns and maybe they won't kill you. (Tamir Rice)
Don't call for medical help for your sister and maybe they won't kill her. (Shereese Francis)
Don't ask for help after a car accident and maybe they won't kill you. (Jonathan Ferrell)
Don't cosplay with a toy sword and maybe they won't kill you. (Darrien Hunt)
Don't shop at Walmart and maybe they won't kill you. (John Crawford III)
Don't take the BART and maybe they won't kill you. (Oscar Grant III)
Don't ride your bike and maybe they won't kill you. (Dante Parker)
Don't reach for your cell phone and maybe they won't kill you. (Travis McNeill)
Don't sit on your front stoop and maybe they won't kill you. (Bernard Monroe)
Don't "startle" them and maybe they won't kill you. (Akai Gurley)
Don't "look around suspiciously" and maybe they won't kill you. (Steven Eugene Washington)
Don't wear a hoodie and maybe they won't kill you. (Jordan Baker)
Don't walk on a bridge with your family and maybe they won't kill you. (James Brissette and Ronald Madison)
Don't play "cops and robbers" with your buddies and maybe they won't kill you. (Nicholas Heyward Jr.)
Don't work in a warehouse repairing instruments and maybe they won't kill you. (Ousmane Zongo)
Don't stand in your grandma's bathroom and maybe they won't kill you. (Ramarley Graham)
Don't pray with your daughters in public and maybe they won't kill you. (Manuel Loggins Jr.)
Don't go to your bachelor party and maybe they won't kill you. (Sean Bell)
Don't have an ex boyfriend who might be a suspect and maybe they won't kill you. (Tarika Wilson)
Don't hang out in the park with your friends and maybe they won't kill you. (Rekia Boyd)
Don't get a flat tire and maybe they won't kill you. (Tyisha Shenee Miller)
Don't park in a fire lane and maybe they won't kill you. (Danroy Henry Jr.)
Don't go to your friend's birthday party and maybe they won't kill you. (Kimani Gray)
Don't reach for your wallet and maybe they won't kill you. (Amadou Diallo)
Don't let your medical alert device go off and maybe they won't kill you. (Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr)
And finally, Don't smoke a cigarette in your car during a minor traffic violation stop and maybe they won't kill you. (Sandra Bland)

a) An idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about.
b) A liar who is a fan who can't admit it to himself or others."

Offline Battle

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Monday, 13th May 2019
New Sandra Bland Video Reopens Conversation On Documenting Police Encounters
by Meghna Chakrabarti

"New cellphone footage from the now infamous traffic stop of Sandra Bland shows her perspective when a Texas state trooper points a taser and yells, 'I will light you up!'

"Bland, 28, was found dead three days later in her Waller County jail cell near Houston. Her death was ruled a suicide.

"The new video — released as part of a WFAA exclusive in partnership with the Investigative Network — fuels the Bland family’s suspicions that Texas officials withheld evidence in her controversial arrest and, later, her death.

"Until now, the trooper’s dashcam footage was believed to be the only full recording of the July 2015 traffic stop, which ended in Bland’s arrest. The trooper claimed he feared for his safety during the stop."

New York Magazine:

"Why Are So Many ‘Bad Apple’ Police Officers Bad in the Same Way?" — "Brian Encinia said that he ordered Sandra Bland out of her vehicle, forced her to the ground, and handcuffed her on July 10, 2015, because he feared for his safety. 'My safety was in jeopardy at more than one time,' the former–Texas Department of Safety trooper told the agency’s Office of Inspector General. 'I had a feeling that anything could’ve been either retrieved or hidden within her area of control.'

"But newly released footage contradicts this account. On Monday, reporters with Dallas television station WFAA aired a 39-second cell phone video captured by Bland that had not been previously made public. It depicts an irate Encinia threatening to 'light … up' the black 28-year-old with his stun gun and demanding that she exit her car and “get off the phone,” all while Bland asks him repeatedly why a “failure to signal” called for such treatment. 'The video shows that [Encinia] wasn’t in fear of his safety,' Cannon Lambert, a lawyer for Bland’s family, told the New York Times. 'You could see that it was a cell phone. He was looking right at it.'

"Bland was found dead in a Waller County jail cell three days later; authorities ruled her death a suicide. Nationwide protests followed. The Naperville, Illinois, native — who, before her arrest, was en route to start a new job at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas — became the most prominent woman to die in police custody as a result of police violence during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement."

New York Times:

"Sandra Bland, It Turns Out, Filmed Traffic Stop Confrontation Herself" — "Sandra Bland had just driven in from Illinois to start a new job in Texas when a state trooper pulled her over for failing to signal a lane change. As the exchange grew angry and the officer pulled out a stun gun, she recorded a 39-second cellphone video whose public broadcast this week has prompted calls for a renewed investigation into her arrest and death nearly four years ago.

"Ms. Bland, a 28-year-old African-American from the Chicago area, was taken into custody in southeast Texas following the confrontational 2015 traffic stop and was found hanging in a jail cell three days later in what was officially ruled a suicide. The case, which drew international attention, intensified outrage over the treatment of black people by white police officers and was considered a turning point in the Black Lives Matter movement.

"The video surfaced for the first time publicly Monday night in an investigative report on the Dallas television station WFAA that included interviews with Ms. Bland’s family and supporters, who accused officials of concealing information that they said should have been made public early in the investigation."

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Offline Battle

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Tuesday, 28th May 2019
‘Somebody owes me lunch!’: Prison guards bet on an inmate’s suicide. Then, choking sounds came from her unit.
by  Isaac Stanley-Becker

Shortly after 2 p.m. on a Monday in November 2015, an inmate in the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, a sprawling prison in Ypsilanti, Mich., cried out that she “wants Bam Bam,” slang for an anti-suicide smock.

Janika Edmond of Adrian, Mich., knew she posed a danger to herself.

The 25-year-old had been in this position before.

Beset by major depressive and mood disorders, she had attempted suicide on numerous occasions while incarcerated, according to court filings.

Several months earlier, the inmate, with closely cropped hair and the words “Beautiful Disaster” tattooed on her chest, had asked to be put on suicide precaution for her own safety.

Her latest cry for help was issued from a shower area where she had been stationed while waiting to be placed in an isolated cell.
At least a dozen correctional officers were in earshot of the prisoner, lawyers allege.

She was on mental health outpatient status at the time.

None came to her aid.

Instead, one appeared to celebrate the inmate’s anguished appeal, according to a civil complaint reviewed by The Washington Post.

“Somebody owes me lunch!” Dianna Callahan, a prison guard, gloated, according to the legal filing, which cites video records maintained by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

The guard raised her fist into the air, pumping it three times and flashing a thumbs-up sign.

She repeated, “Somebody owes me lunch!”

Now, the state owes Edmond’s family $860,000, as part of a settlement agreement in a wrongful-death lawsuit that arose from the episode.

The settlement was approved last week by Judge Robert H. Cleland of the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

“It’s horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible,” an attorney for Edmond’s family, David Steingold, said in an interview with The Washington Post.

“It’s a catastrophe that should never have happened if the prison officials had just done their jobs.”

But evidence from the scene suggests officials had different incentives.

One minute after Callahan’s celebratory gesture, she engaged another prison official in talk of a Subway sandwich — her prize, Steingold observes, for winning a bet among the correctional officers about whether the notoriously volatile inmate would again become suicidal.

Two minutes later, choking sounds emanated from the shower area.

The noises continued for several minutes, and no one intervened, as detailed in the complaint, which describes a timeline confirmed by a transcription of video footage prepared by the Michigan State Police and obtained by

Nearly 20 minutes after she had first called for help, Edmond was discovered lying in the shower.

She had a bra around her neck.

She had entered the prison in 2013 for a probation violation stemming from charges of assault with a dangerous weapon.

She was scheduled to be released as early as April 2016, according to the federal lawsuit.

Prison staff administered CPR and applied an automated external defibrillator.

Paramedics arrived and discovered that she still had a pulse.

They transported her about 10 miles to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where the inmate’s mother was turned away, according to the complaint, told that Edmond could not receive visitors.

It took the Michigan Department of Corrections 24 hours to alert family members to the inmate’s suicide attempt, the filing maintains.

Edmond was declared brain dead on Nov. 6, 2015, four days after being transported to the hospital.

She was pronounced dead five days after that.

The complaint asserts that the failure of the correctional facility to “properly treat Edmond’s mental illness and its actions in discriminating against her and punishing her because of it, exacerbated her mental difficulties, including her suicidal ideations, and caused her suicide.”

Suicides accounted for 7 percent of all deaths in state prisons in 2014, representing the largest share observed since 2001, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported.

Female prisoners are at least nine times as likely to die by suicide as is the general female population, according to a 2017 study published in the peer-reviewed Lancet journal.

Meanwhile, how little about such episodes is clarified by official accounts was made stark earlier this month with the release of cellphone footage recorded by Sandra Bland in July 2015, before she died by suicide in a Texas jail.

The fresh insight into her interaction with a Texas state trooper led her family to renew its call for accountability.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support for people in distress.

Callahan was suspended in the days after the incident inside the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, which is the only prison in the state that houses women.

She was fired the following spring.

The officer with whom she had allegedly spoken about a Subway sandwich, Kory Moore, was also fired, but she was later reinstated after arbitration.

Moore, who was supervising Callahan as resident unit manager at the time of Edmond’s suicide, ultimately left her position, reported.

According to the news outlet, it was not until state officials read media reports about the terminations that they opened an investigation into the circumstances of the suicide.

According to the complaint, state police first learned of the episode from a county medical examiner, who contacted a state trooper seeking information that he was unable to obtain from the prison.

The corrections agency later acknowledged it should have notified Michigan State Police more quickly.

It also pledged to clarify its policies about when an inmate death requires contacting the police.

Unambiguous, however, were policies obliging staff to respond immediately to warnings of suicidal behavior by inmates, as the complaint notes.

“When a mental health emergency is suspected, custody staff shall place the prisoner in an observation room,” one directive states.

Another declares, “If a prisoner engages in suicidal or self-injurious behavior which is life threatening, staff shall immediately respond.”
“At no time relevant hereto,” the civil complaint alleges, “did any MDOC staff member immediately respond to Edmond’s life threatening suicidal behavior.”
Callahan pleaded no contest last year to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, avoiding a trial.

In addition to the local criminal case, the episode spawned the federal lawsuit, first filed in February 2017, as well as a similar suit, filed that April, in the county court system.

The federal suit, a final version of which was filed in June of last year, named the Michigan Department of Corrections and 12 of its current and former employees as defendants.

It sought damages for loss of “love, society and companionship,” among other deprivations, on behalf of Sheila Clarke, Edmond’s aunt and the representative of her estate.

Ultimately, she settled for $860,000.

Some of that sum will cover legal fees and other costs.

What remains of the settlement, nearly $550,000, will be split evenly between Edmond’s adult siblings, Jacob Christopher Edmond and Cazz Vinson Jr.

The money is insufficient to salve their loss, Steingold said.

Family members, who were not immediately told of Edmond’s condition, arrived at the hospital to “witness doctors pulling the plug on her,” he said.

She knew she needed help, the attorney said.

She sought it out.

Instead of coming to her assistance, however, the officer charged with her protection “ordered her winnings.”

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Offline Battle

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Friday, 24th May 2019
Delayed release of Sandra Bland cellphone video incites testy hearing with Texas lawmakers
by Erik Ortiz

A hearing over newly released cellphone video belonging to Sandra Bland, the black woman involved in a 2015 traffic stop that preceded her death in a Texas jail, grew testy Friday as state lawmakers questioned top law enforcement officials about why it took more than two years before people knew of its existence.

Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Democrat who chairs the Legislature's County Affairs Committee and had sponsored a bill named after Bland meant to help jailed people with mental illnesses, grew frustrated as he described how the Texas Department of Public Safety previously "dumped" the related data to her case following requests for information, but failed to alert him to the cellphone video's existence.

"I tried to go in the disk you sent me, and I couldn't make heads or tails out of it," he said.

He implored the officials to be more forthcoming.

"Give me everything that you have related to the Sandra Bland case in a documented and cited form and bring it to me. Everything," Coleman said, adding,

"If it's video, I want the video. If it's audio, I want the audio. If it's any depositions that you did with anyone that was involved in this, I want everything."

Officials responded that "you'll have everything," and said they support implementing a new policy that provides information with an index or table of contents.

The 39-second cellphone video, which shows Bland's perspective when a state trooper pulled her over in July 2015 on the outskirts of Houston for failing to use her turn signal, was made public earlier this month — part of a records request by the Investigative Network, a nonprofit news organization, and Dallas station WFAA. Before then, the video had never been seen publicly.

Instead, there was only dashcam footage showing Trooper Brian Encinia attempting to drag Bland, 28, out of her car and threatening to use a Taser to "light you up" — an encounter that became a flashpoint in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Bland was arrested and found dead in her jail cell three days later in what was ruled a suicide.

Lawmakers on Friday noted that Cannon Lambert, an attorney for Bland's family, told the Investigative Network that the cellphone video was never provided as part of the discovery process in a civil case and that "if they had turned it over, I would have seen it."

Phillip Adkins, the general counsel for the Department of Public Safety, said at Friday's hearing that the agency "has not illegally withheld evidence" from Bland's family or their legal team and that the video she recorded was provided by Waller County attorneys to the family's attorneys in October 2015.

Lambert could not immediately be reached for comment Friday about whether he may have received the video, but inadvertently overlooked it.

Coleman said he plans to hold another hearing with Waller County attorneys.

In the aftermath of Bland's death, Encinia was the only official to be charged criminally in her case.

Prosecutors said he lied in a sworn affidavit when he wrote that Bland had been "combative and uncooperative."

A single charge against Encinia of perjury was dropped in June 2017 after the trooper agreed to never work as a law enforcement officer again.

Lawsuits against the state and the county jail have since been settled for almost $2 million in total.

But Coleman, whose Sandra Bland Act was signed into law in 2017, said Friday that the newly surfaced cellphone video could have changed the course of the investigation involving Encinia.

"I wish that he would have been prosecuted for more than just perjury after seeing that video," Coleman added.

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