So What If Sandra Bland Did It?
So what if Sandra Bland did it? So what if she hanged herself? What in the world was she doing in a jail cell in the first place?
I am not saying Sandra Bland took her own life. I do not have enough information to make that determination. On the surface it appears to me that she was not in sufficient trouble to be concerned about getting out of jail.
Especially given the fact arrangements had been made for her to bond out. It was only a matter of time before she would have been set free to wage war against Brian Encinia, the Texas State Patrol officer who pulled her out of her automobile, slammed her to the ground and filed questionable charges against her for assaulting a public officer.
Sandra Bland’s arrest and subsequent death leaves more questions than answers.
What type of contact did she have with her jailers that would push her to hang herself, if indeed, she hung herself? Why were the instrumentalities ( a plastic bag and trash can) for a death by hanging so readily available in her jail cell? If she smoked a large quantity of marijuana in jail where did it come from and how was she able to conceal the smell of marijuana from the jailers?
At what point was Sandra Bland made aware she was under arrest? It is not clear in my mind and I have watched the video of the stop several times. It is not likely that Sandra Bland in real time was aware that Encinia had placed her under arrest until he threathened to “light [her] up” with his taser. At that point she seemed to comply with the orders given by Encinia.
The manner in which Encinia spoke to Bland is reprehensible and an object lesson in how not to talk to any American citizen clothed with the presumption of innocence until such time as a court, if it can, can determine otherwise.
If she did, then why was she placed in a situation where she might become depressed and hang herself? There are more questions than answers. We may never know the truth, as my granddad often said in the 1950s, “A dead man [woman] can’t talk.”
But even, if she did the unthinkable, it does not let the State of Texas or Brian Encinia off the hook. Sandy Bland should never have been placed under arrest. She should never have been found dead in a jail cell. And Brian Encinia should never be allowed to be a public officer again. It’s time to light him up.
Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org