Speed Reads


Texas police release jail video in Sandra Bland case, add details about hanging

On Monday, the Waller County, Texas, Sheriff's Office released three hours of video footage from a camera aimed at the hallway outside the jail cell of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman found dead in her cell on July 13. Bland, 28, had been stopped by a sheriff's deputy on July 10 for changing lanes without a signal, and then arrested after, the deputy said, Bland assaulted him. The sheriff's office said it will release dash-cam video of the arrest on Tuesday.

Monday's video shows a sheriff's deputy discovering Bland's body and running to get help, but it shows no movement for about 90 minutes before that — sheriff's department officials said that on the morning of her death, Bland refused a food tray about 6:30 a.m. and was found dead with a garbage bag around her neck just after 9 a.m. The county coroner ruled the death a suicide, but Bland's family finds that unlikely, arguing that Bland just moved to Houston to take a new job she was excited about. The Waller County district attorney, Elton Mathis, promised a full, thorough investigation.

"It is very much too early to make any kind of determination that this was a suicide or a murder because the investigations are not complete," Mathis said, adding: "This investigation is still being treated just as it would be in a murder investigation. There are many questions being raised in Waller County, across the country and the world about this case. It needs a thorough review." The FBI and Texas Rangers are helping with the case, and Mathis said he will impanel a grand jury in August. Capt. Brian Cantrell at the sheriff's department said that Bland's death "was a tragic incident, not one of criminal intent or a criminal act" but that he welcomed the investigation. You can watch part of the video below. Peter Weber