Authorities in Waller County, Texas, have released hours of footage showing Sandra Bland’s booking in an effort to dispel the speculation that she was already dead when she arrived at the jail.
Bland, 28, was found dead on July 13, three days after being pulled over in Waller County, Texas, for a traffic violation – and officials have maintained that she killed herself, citing evidence of depression and a suicide attempt last year.
An autopsy showed that Bland had no defensive injuries at the time of her death. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. However, her family has questioned that finding and asked for a more detailed accounting of what led to her death.
On Tuesday, Judge Trey Duhon told reporters that Waller County officials were releasing the video “because of the misinformation that has been put out – both through social media and even through mainstream media – that has led to the rumors that Sandra Bland was in some way deceased, or harmed, or not well when she was brought in to the Waller County Jail.”
The video, which has no sound, shows that Bland was alive when she was brought to jail. She has her handcuffs removed, steps into the bathroom to change, then poses for her mug shot.
Duhon emphasized that the video, which also shows Bland meeting with a judge the day after she was taken into custody, was not altered in any way. He also lamented that it was not released earlier.
“It’s a bigger commentary on the age we live in, when information is demanded immediately, and if it’s not received, then people go to make up their own story,” he said.
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