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Texas officials release dashcam footage of Sandra Bland’s arrest

'I will light you up!'


Patrick Howell O'Neill

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 21, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 7:45 am CDT

Video of the July 10 traffic stop that led to Sandra Bland‘s arrest was released online Tuesday by the Texas Department of Public Safety hours after a Texas district attorney said he’d investigate Bland’s death in prison as a murder.

Bland, 28, was found dead in prison last week after she hanged herself with a plastic bag inside the Waller County Jail, police said. She was arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer during the traffic stop.

The video spans 52 minutes, starting with the officer asking for Bland’s insurance information and asking her about the classes she’s taking in school. Bland was originally stopped for not using a traffic signal.

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By eight minutes in, the officer is saying Bland seems “very irritated” while she tries to explain the apparent traffic violation that got her pulled over in the first place. Bland says she was trying to get out of the way of the officer’s car when she was pulled over.

At nine minutes, the officer asks Bland to put out her cigarette “please.” She refuses. He tells her to step out of the car and she refuses. He opens the driver door as she insists “you do not have the right to do this.”

“I do have the right to do this,” he says.

She refuses to speak to him and he threatens to remove her, saying “I’m giving you a lawful order.”

Within seconds, he bends over and begins pulling her out of the car. She continues to refuse to get out of the car.

“You’re going to yank me out of my car?” Bland says. “OK, let’s do this.”

The camera is recording from another car and cannot provide all the details about what’s happening but it does show the officer pulling Bland out and then recoiling quickly, possibly from Bland resisting the pull. He announces she’s under arrest after she says, “don’t touch me!”

The officer calls for backup and is screaming at Bland a few seconds later.

“I will light you up!,” he yells.

“Wow,” Bland says as she walks out of the car. “You’re doing all this for a failure to signal. Right, yeah, let’s take this to court.”

“Go ahead,” he responds.

The officer commands Bland to put her phone down. After initially refusing, she does so.

Bland repeatedly asked why she was being arrested. The officer simply says, “I will tell you. Turn around, I’m giving you a lawful order. You are not complying.”

The two continue to argue and Bland even asks if the officer is going to throw her to the floor. He says no.

Bland complains repeatedly and screams about wrist pain from the handcuffs and later says she can’t feel her arms. The officer demands again and again she stop moving and then it seems he slams her to the ground.

Bland announces she has epilepsy and the officer says, “Good.”

A bystander took this video of the arrest:

Photo via Raw Story/Twitter

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*First Published: Jul 21, 2015, 9:28 pm CDT