“My sister died because a police officer saw her as a threatening black woman rather than human.”
The sister of Sandra Bland, a black woman whose death in a Texas jail cell sparked national protests, says that a recently released video that Bland took is further proof that black men, women, and children are seen as threats by police.
“My sister died because a police officer saw her as a threatening black woman rather than human,” Sharon Cooper wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today earlier this week.
Bland, a 28-year-old woman who had recently moved to Texas from Illinois, was stopped for a traffic violation by then-Texas state trooper Brian Encinia on July 10, 2015. She was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. Encinia claimed Bland kicked him, but the alleged act against him was not captured on dashcam video released shortly after Bland’s death.
Three days after her arrest, Bland was found dead in a Waller County jail cell. Authorities ruled that she died by suicide, but the circumstances around her death were viewed with suspicion. The incident also happened around the same time that the Black Lives Matter movement was gaining steam in the US, and led to nationwide protests.
Then, on May 6 of this year, a local Texas news outlet reported on the existence of a previously unreleased cell phone video that Bland had recorded of her traffic stop. The video showed the officer yelling at Bland and threatening to “light [Bland] up” with a Taser.
Cooper says that in the four years since her sister’s death, her family’s fight for justice has shown her how the justice system fails black families seeking convictions in the wake of police misconduct.
“Despite America’s efforts to align itself with the …read more
Source:: Vox – All