AUSTIN, Texas – The cell phone video of Sandra Bland's 2015 arrest, viewed for the public for the first time earlier this month, was front and center at a hearing on Friday.

  • Sandra Bland’s cell phone video focus of hearing
  • DPS and Office of Attorney General invited to testify
  • Bland’s controversial arrest sparked outrage

The Office of the Attorney General and Texas Department of Public Safety testified at the hearing being held by the House Committee on County Affairs.

Bland was a 28-year old African American woman arrested in the summer of 2015 in Waller County after a traffic stop for failing to use a turn signal.

New controversial cell phone video taken during her arrest is the focus of Friday’s hearing. Bland’s death sparked outrage over how black women are treated in the criminal justice system. 

Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, attended the hearing. Democratic state Rep. Garnet Coleman criticized state officials, stating the newly released video shows the trooper who appears in the video with Bland had no reason to fear for his life. Investigators said they've been transparent and claimed the cell phone video was referenced in a case report.

The video shows the incident from Bland's perspective while she attempted to comply with the trooper. In Bland’s video Trooper Brian Encinia is seen pointing a Taser at her and yelling ”Get out of the car! I will light you up! Get out!”

Encinia’s account of events differed from the cell phone video as he previously claimed she threatened him to prior to her arrest. However, the video shows Bland repeatedly asking “Why am I being apprehended?”

Dash cam video from the police patrol car shows Bland being pulled from her car during the arrest for a Class C misdemeanor.

Bland was taken to the Waller County jail and found dead three days later in her cell. Her death was ruled a suicide.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.