|Sandra Bland (Facebook)|
The traffic stop looks fairly routine at the beginning, and Trooper Encinia behaves respectfully. So what happened? He takes Bland's license back to his car -- another routine procedure, and you can hear him typing on the video -- to check it for outstanding warrants probably, then returns to Bland's car. At this point, his whole attitude and tone have changed. Why? Why comment that she sounded irritated? Take care of the business of writing the traffic ticket and leave.
Reading the rest of the transcript as Trooper Encinia continues to escalate the confrontation and Bland stands up for her rights is painful and appalling. He clearly lacks the training and professionalism to have handled this traffic stop in a business-like manner. What he does do is totally unacceptable.
Over at Daughter Number Three, she shares a post by Michael Leddy about the Encinia's previous stop, which happened just minutes before he pulled Bland to the side of the road. Encinia had let off a female college student who was speeding although the student had no proof of insurance. It stands in contrast to Bland's stop in which Encinia appears to behave as if he has the power and he can wield it with impunity.
While there truly is no upside for Bland's family at this point, perhaps there's a slight upside for American society. That is, the dashcam video has been released to the public online; video of the Waller County jail where Bland was being held has been released showing, apparently, the discovery that all was not normal in Bland's cell and the Sheriff's response. I wondered, watching the video of the EMTs rolling the gurney out, if that was really Bland on that gurney. You cannot tell if it's a human being or not. The release of these videos contributes to a trend toward operational transparency that's being taken now by law enforcement agencies in this country.
I grieve for Bland, for her family and friends. I hope the investigation into her death is thorough and objective, and will bring all of us the answers we need in this case. Time will tell.....