SANDRA BLAND: Say Her Name!!!

SANDRA BLAND should not be dead. PERIOD!

1000It seems like every week another black person is killed at the hands of the police. With each killing, it gets less transparent, the lies and cover-ups of those cases get more ridiculous. Yet, white America rallies behind and support the killers. They know it’s wrong, and that the police are out of control or dare I say the real terrorist threat to black people. Now it’s not like this is new because the system have been doing this since black people were stolen from Africa and dragged onto the shores of America. This would never be allowed to continue if these acts of terror occurred to a single white person or a Jewish citizen.

I posted a piece from News One yesterday titled “6 Things We Know About Brian Encinia, The Texas Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland”. It was shocking and appalling, yet the County has done everything to accuse the victim. This, by the way, is the norm – that is what they do.

The official account of how the 28-year-old black woman they say committed suicide by “self-inflicted asphyxiation in her jail cell after being stopped for changing lanes without using her signal light. is hard to swallow. After a brutal assault and arrest, she perished in a Waller County jail. Her family disputes that Ms. Bland could possibly have taken her own life. Though an official murder investigation is in process, and the Texas Rangers are looking into the case with FBI supervision, there is at present no evidence to disprove the suicide narrative.

But it’s plain to me based on what has been reported that Ms. Bland shouldn’t have died in jail because she should never have been in that cell in the first place. They have released two versions of a dashcam video from the officer’s car that appears doctored to me and they want us to believe something was wrong with the first video. Same thing they said about the Rodney King video – remember. In other words, who do you believe them or you’re lying eyes. The jail video is also missing lapses in time. Naturally, they are not talking about the arresting officer’s confrontational behavior.

Let’s start from the beginning. Officer Encinia pulled Ms. Bland over for failing to signal before executing a lane change. Over the course of an increasingly testy exchange, Ms. Bland explained that she was irritated because she had been trying to get out of the officer’s way when she switched lanes. Instead of handing Ms. Bland a warning or a ticket and moving on, Mr. Encinia asked her to extinguish her cigarette. Ms. Bland refused. Instead of letting that insult roll off his back, Mr. Encinia ordered her to exit her car with threats.

The command unnecessarily inflamed the situation but was legal. What happened next did not appear to have been legal. Though Ms. Bland committed a minor traffic violation and did not seem to be a threat to public safety, Mr. Encinia forcibly removed her from her car. Where de-escalation was required, Mr. Encinia escalated. “Regardless of the situation, the DPS state trooper has an obligation to exhibit professionalism and be courteous,” Steve McCraw, the director of the Department of Public Safety, said. This did not happen in this situation.

No matter what happens with the murder investigation, it won’t change the fact that the encounter should never have gotten so heated, and it was the officer’s responsibility to prevent that. But he was white, and she was simply driving while black! The officer’s paperwork, as is often the case, does not reflect what we see on the video. Then, he claims she kicked him as he was manhandling her forcing her face in the dirt, as one of the reasons for the arrest.

He knew he was being recorded and like so many cases he continued. That awareness should underline that they have no option but to be calm and careful, no matter how insulted they feel. We don’t expect that to be easy at all times and in all situations. Yet, the police are entrusted with the awesome power to legitimately use force on the public and that trust requires restraint and judgment; among other things about when confrontation is necessary and when it isn’t. I see no reason why Ms. Bland shouldn’t have collected her traffic warning and driven on. Instead, she is dead, and nobody can explain how it happened.

In this case and all of the others cases, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, the Charleston Massacre, and the list goes on and on. It is clear that race is a central theme to all of these killings. The message to black people – man, woman or child – whether in church, at home, in the car, walking down the street, or merely existing are not safe in America and particularly from the police.

The ugly reality is this; the police have declared open season, call it war, on black people and the system of white supremacy says it ok. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

About Thought Provoking Perspectives

Welcome to Thought Provoking Perspectives a blog designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge to broaden the information base with those who share my passion for the written word and the empowerment of thought. View all posts by Thought Provoking Perspectives

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