Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stop Cop's Rage: "I will light you up!"

It was a rather ordinary, quiet evening for me. I tuned into MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to watch Sandra Bland's sister, Sharon, and the family attorney. Then it all went to hell when the attorney said that Waller County wanted Sandra's body returned to Texas for another autopsy because the first one was "defective." Emotionally now, I am struggling between outrage and the numbness of shock. Again. No. Not again. AGAIN!

Lawrence O'Donnell read the text wording, saying: (They) "need to have the body available for future examination by qualified experts."

From Texas, Sandra's body was released to her family, who flew her home to Chicago for her funeral today.

It's Saturday now, as I write again, and Sandra's grieving family and friends are gathering for Sandra's funeral, while the Texas authorities demanded continued access to her body as evidence. How that will, or has, played out, I just don't know. Even in death, Sandra is being denied human dignity, just as Texas trooper, Brian Encinia, denied her professional courtesy during a routine traffic stop for improper lane changing.

Already there is speculation that Sandra died by lynching, rather than suicide, as the jail authorities assert, despite the pledge of Elton Mathis, the District Attorney in Waller County, that her death will not be swept under the rug.

Not surprisingly, the District Attorney's statement includes a statement that a video of the hallway adjacent to Sandra's cell doesn't show anyone going into her cell to do her any harm.

On the one hand, authorities allege that Sandra told them she had previously been depressed, but at the time of the booking, she said she was not depressed, despite now being charged with a third degree felony. But, they also admit to neglecting to do visual "walkaround" checks of Sandra's safety while in their custody.

"The Texas Commission on Jail Standards criticized the Waller County Jail for insufficient training and for failing to check on inmates face-to-face every hour, and ordered it to come into compliance. The Waller County Sheriff's Office said its jailers had received mental health training, though not in the past year. The office acknowledged that guards used the intercom to check in on Bland rather than an in-person inspection as required. But the sheriff's office said it has no reason to believe either of these deficiencies contributed to Bland's death."

Ah, yes, the old "we didn't do our job, but we assure you that doesn't matter" defense. Perhaps if a correctional officer had actually observed Sandra, spoken with her, sympathized with her about her situation, given her hope that she would be released soon, today's situation might be different.

Of course, not if the swirling rumors that she was actually lynched are true. That speculation is based on a long list of various factors. The photos below are part of the speculation that she was murdered by suggesting that they were taken while Sandra was prone on the jail floor, and that the photo on the right was photoshopped to show her as alive.

This "conspiracy theory" would have much less credibility if Sandra's booking photo was of the quality that would allow for her identification. Odd that its such poor quality that she is not recognizable, isn't it?

There are other anomalies in Sandra's booking documents. On page 2, the jail's screening officer, Elsa Magnus, answers "No" to the following questions:

"16. Does the individual seem confused, pre-occupied, sad, paranoid, etc.?"

"17. Is the person's speech rapid, hard to understand, hesitant, or childlike?"

"18. Observed to be under the influence of: Alcohol? Drugs? Withdrawals?"

"19. Observed to have physical signs of harm (i.e., cuts on arms, etc.):"

"20. Does the screener suspect mental illness/mental retardation?"

Yet, Warren Diepraam, a Waller County Texas prosecutor, reported that Sandra had approximately 30 "cut marks" on her left wrist which were in a state of healing.

Also unusual is Prosecutor Diepraam's statement that Sandra had marijuana in her system at the time of her death, despite the screening officer's observations that she wasn't under the influence (presumably that means she got the marijuana in jail) and without wrist cuts.

Page 15 of the booking documents shows that Sandra had no money. A woman drives from Illinois to Texas without money? I suppose it's possible, but it does sound improbable.

These are just a few of the inconsistencies, but the question remains: was Sandra treated professionally and appropriately by the arresting officer? Had she been, she wouldn't be dead today.


Anonymous said...

If the truth revealed is that she did kill herself which it looks like there will still be many who will not believe it. We saw what happened in Ferguson even though the truth, real eyewitnesses and forensic evidence showed that Wilson had the right to shoot. We still saw looting,rioting, and cops getting injured and targeted. We need to stand up and stop all this from happening again. Texas law saw you can make an arrest on many traffic violations so the absurd view of the arrest was illegal is out the window.I look for the day that we will start blaming the people who put themselves in situation with cops instead of blaming the cops all the time. YES there are situations that cops are wrong but ALL the cops have been right recently in all the high profile cases!!!!

Redeye said...

And herein lies the problem there are too many cops who share Fed Up's misguided at best, misinformed at worst, point of view. They believe because they have a gun and a badge the are the law instead of enforcing the law. They bive the are to be obeyed and automatically assume all people of cot are guilty because of the cot of their skin so they become the judge,jury, and the executioner, because they can.

Anonymous said...

No I agree that when anyone has contact with officers do as they ask as long as it is not illegal. Most all are on video. Then if you are mad about something then you can complain later instead of defying authority. 99% of the time the person stopped is wrong and should just listen and disagree later instead of arguing and defying what your told to do kinda like listening to your parents but we all know that many do not or their parents behavior is why they act like they do.When they try to enforce the law we have an outcry of racism when 95% of the time that is a false narrative!!!

Redeye said...

Defying authority? What authority? Police are supposed to enforce law not exercise authority over citizens. We be free,

Anonymous said...

Yes enforce laws but how can they when most encounters are considered racist stops etc its always a confrontation with many they deal with.Most all stops, frisks etc have to do with someone breaking the law, or the officer having reasonable suspicion or probable cause etc but yet the person stopped and others view it as racist 98% of the time! If you are wrong then take the ticket, the trip to jail etc without arguing or fighting back then many of the incidents would NEVER HAPPEN!

Redeye said...

Sandra Bland was arrested for defying authority. Most stop and frisk are about racial profiling. It's not against the law to argue with law enforcement officers. Again you make my point. There are too many Billy Bobs, Jim Bobs and Bubba's who think they have some kind of authority because they have a badge and gun. We be Free.

Redeye said...

Typos should read: And herein lies the problem there are too many cops who share Fed Up's misguided at best, misinformed at worst, point of view. They believe because they have a gun and a badge the are the law instead of enforcing the law. They believe they are to be obeyed without question, and automatically assume all people of color are guilty so they become the judge,jury, and the executioner, because they think they have the "authority."

Anonymous said...

In Texas you can be arrested for failure to signal as well as other traffic laws.Her arrest was valid! Maybe if she had a better attitude then she would have gotten a ticket and been on her way!

~Chip :) said...

The officer had already written Sandra a ticket (or a warning, both have been reported) when he re-approached her car. He baited her by saying that she seemed upset; as a professional, he could have simply asked her to sign receipt of the ticket/warning, and asked her to drive safely.

Redeye said...

What part of having a bad attitude is not against the law don't you understand?

Anonymous said...

Yes the officers could have should have would have etc done a few things different but yet still she can be arrested!! She the killed herself so why are we still talking about it? It's because it fits the liberal agenda that is why! Why are we not talking about other real murders not suicides. We had a murder here in Huntsville and NUMEROUS shootings this week but yet we do not talk about those deaths or shootings or the civil rights violation trial that is going on this week where a BLACK Huntsville officer violated the civil rights of a white man! WHY Chip and Redeye do we not talk about those issues?! Yet we talked about the white Madison officers many many times on here lol lol lol. Those issues need to be addressed if you are fair and balanced and tell it like it is!

~Chip :) said...

You don't get to dictate the topics or conversation.

Anonymous said...

Chip I am not trying to dictate just asking why be one sided? Why not tell all sides? If you do not then your just like the people you complain about!

Redeye said...

Again. This is RedEyes Blog. EYE decide who and what is discussed and when it's discussed. If you want to advance right wing talking points and brazen lies do it on your own blog. Truth is spoken here. This is your warning.

~Chip :) said...

Hear, hear, Redeye. He adds nothing, and is only here to be provocative, insulting, condescending and directive.

Patrick Albright said...

So, only one sided comments are allowed-good bye