Additional footage was released by Texas authorities from Sandra Bland’s three days in jail, as an attempt to dispel rumors that she was dead before arriving. Waller County Judge Trey Duhon said Tuesday that death threats against county officials have been made as a result of such conspiracy theories including one that Bland’s mug shot was taken after her death.
Authorities have ruled that Bland’s death was indeed a suicide. The video released to the public shows her arriving at the jail, being questioned by a jailer filling out forms, making phone calls, getting her mug shot taken, sleeping in her cell and being taken in and out.
The video shows Bland seeming presumably calm when she arrives at the jail, at times even smiling and at one point putting her head in her hands. The video shows the jailer allowing her to use the phone at the booking desk instead of the normal pay phone in her cell, and even though the video has no sound you can visibly see her having an animated conversation during some of the calls.
Authorities have claimed 28 year old Bland, a black woman from Chicago, hanged herself with a garbage bag, which is being questioned by her family who say she was happy. Bland was arrested after being pulled over for an improper lane change for allegedly assaulting the white state trooper.
Bland’s death has gained increasing national attention due to improper police treatment of blacks in the wake of several high-profile police-involved deaths. In Chicago, more than 100 people gathered Tuesday night downtown for a vigil and protest.
Bland’s initial toxicology report was released on Monday and two experts raised the possibility that she may have used marijuana while in custody, which prosecutor Warren Diepraam claims to be relevant to the case in determining her state of mind. According to the report Bland had 18 micrograms per liter of THC (one of the active ingredients in marijuana) in her system, which is over three times the legal limit for drivers in Colorado and Washington.
The Texas Rangers and the FBI are investigating the case as well as a committee of outside attorneys who are all assisting Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis in investigating Bland’s death.
One of the committee members, attorney Lewis White of Sugar Land said “I don’t know if we’ll ever get an answer to all the questions, but our job is to get answers. There are going to be answers some people don’t like.”
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