Waller County, Texas Officials Release New Jail Videos of #SandraBland to 'Dispel Rumors'

Waller County, Texas Officials Release New Jail Videos of #SandraBland to ‘Dispel Rumors’

Officials in Waller County, Texas released new video on Tuesday that show Sandra Bland’s booking, hoping to offer transparency that critics have claimed was lacking as to Bland’s time in jail.


The 29-year-old woman was arrested on July 10 and found dead in her jail cell three days later. Officials say suicide was the likely cause. Her friends, family and supporters on social media say that’s unlikely — Bland was stopped en route to a new job — and some have even suggested she was killed during the arrest.

“Not only was she alive and well through the whole process, there’s nothing on the videos that shows that she was mistreated at the jail in any way, shape or form,” Waller County Judge Trey Duhon said ahead of the release of the video.

Throughout the press conference, Duhon and Sheriff’s Office Brian Cantrell walked members of the press through sections of the video, to provide a timeline; Waller County officials plan to release the videos to the public later today. Among the footage shown today were her going through magistration, making phone calls, and even a 13-hour video of the hallway outside her jail cell.

 

Skeptical Twitter users, fueled by coverage on sites such as BuzzFeed, have continued to raise questions over the official line — most disturbingly that Sandra Bland’s booking photo was actually taken after she was found dead. Commenters have questioned the shadows in the photo, the color of the wall behind her and the distant look in her eyes.

According to the officials today, she had been asleep just prior to her booking photo being taken, which they say accounts for her appearance.

Local reporters tweeted out portions of the intake video as it streamed live at the press conference, where the judge added that the new videos were released to “dispel rumors and myth” that she died during the arrest. “We’re seeing people fabricate information… You have people putting information out there” on Twitter.

 

“We’re doing this because we’ve received death threats. We’ve received threats against our facilities” Duhon said, adding “this video hasn’t been altered or doctored in any way.” He didn’t add any specific names, but he did say there had been threats against specific people, buildings and even threats of a cyber attack.

 

When asked about the report of marijuana in Bland’s system, per her autopsy, Duhon there was “nothing that indicated anything.”

He also noted, in response to a question about Bland’s family, that they hadn’t seen the footage and, “They are no longer communicating with us.” 

This is a developing story and the full videos will be posted once they become available.

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