Now this. What in the world … ?
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia pulled a young woman over for what some media actually reported was a “routine traffic stop.”
He told the young woman, Sandra Bland, to douse a cigarette. She refused. The trooper then became agitated. So did Bland. They argued. He threatened her with his Taser. She got even angrier.
The “routine stop”? Well, it became un-routine in less than two minutes.
Bland was arrested … forcibly. She was taken to the Waller County jail. Bland then died in her cell by hanging.
And the stuff has hit the fan.
This case is looking for all the world like some other police cases involving the arrest of African-American suspects. Eric Garner was choked to death by a New York City police officer, who sought to arrest him for selling cigarettes illegally. Walter Scott was shot to death by a Charleston, S.C., police officer as he was running away from the officer. Freddie Gray died in jail from a broken neck after he was arrested in Philadelphia.
Now we have Sandra Bland arrested and rousted out of her car by a police officer. For what? Because she mouthed off?
Sure, Bland shouldn’t have sassed the trooper. But aren’t police officers taught in the academy to look past rude behavior? Aren’t they schooled on how to respond with coolness and calm?
Was the young woman drunk? No. Did she brandish a weapon? No. Was she using an illegal drug? No.
And what in the world happened in that jail cell?
Oh, my. This case is troubling in the extreme.