Though the sudden death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland while in police custodywas ruled the result of supposed self-asphyxiation by local authorities, an exponential amount of evidence seemingly suggests otherwise. The latest, according to the Bland family's lawyer Cannon Lambert, is that Bland was threatened with a Taser during the traffic stop which led to her eventual arrest.
Lambert's assertions are based on unreleased dash cam footage, reportedly depicting the arresting trooper pulling out his Taser before Bland agrees to exit her vehicle. The video also shows the trooper attempting to open Bland's door, at which point Bland reaches for her phone to presumably record the trooper's behavior. On Friday, the Texas Department of Public Safety released a statement admitting that the trooper had violated department procedures during the traffic stop and ensuing arrest.
When coupled with the revelation that the sheriff involved in the case was previously fired from another department following a history of racial misconduct, the death of Sandra Bland could become another discouraging example of institutionalized police brutality. Bland's family has ordered an independent autopsy, with results expected within 48 hours.