Texas officials have released a new batch of videos showing Sandra Bland as she was being processed at Waller County Jail. The release aims to dismiss rumors that the black activist was already dead when her mugshot was taken.
Bland’s death has sparked a wave of media attention and accusations of police brutality against minorities. She was found hanged in a jail cell three days after she had been pulled over and detained for a minor traffic violation. Some have speculated that Bland was somehow killed by police, though an autopsy found the cause of death to be suicide.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Waller County Judge Trey Duhon walked the press through several videos captured by the facility’s cameras. “Several hours of footage” are set to be released in total.
“The purpose of today’s press conference is provide the media and the citizens of the state of Texas, the nation and the world, with some additional footage from the jail video that shows that Sandra Bland was alive and well when she was brought to the Waller County Jail,” Duhon said.
He added that the reason authorities were circulating the videos was to dispel “misinformation that has been put out” through social media, as well as other media outlets, suggesting that Bland “was in some way deceased or harmed or not well when she was brought into Waller County Jail.”
NEW: Texas authorities have released a new video in the case of Sandra Bland, who died in the county jail three days after being pulled over by police for a traffic violation http://cbsn.ws/1fExlw8
Posted by CBS News on Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Duhon specifically addressed allegations that Bland was already dead at the time her mugshot was taken, saying the video shows she was “alive and well” when the picture was snapped.
The first video shows police removing Sandra Bland from their vehicle when they arrive at the Waller County Jail intake door.
The second video captures the interior of the intake area of the jail. The footage shows Bland entering the room and sitting in a chair. The inmates are processed and their mental health evaluations are conducted in this room, Duhon said.
“There’s no footage that indicates to me that Ms. Bland was treated unfairly or was mishandled or mistreated in any way, shape or form while she was in the Waller County Jail,” Duhon said, according to Reuters.
Another video shows Bland walking into a bathroom at the jail, where she changed into an orange jumpsuit prior to her mugshot. Duhon said the video also dispels allegations that inmates at Waller County Jail do not take mugshots in jumpsuits, as another inmate can be seen leaving the mugshot area in an orange jumpsuit as well.
Release of this footage comes two days after Bland’s funeral and about five days after the results of an autopsy conducted by authorities were made public. The autopsy found that Bland committed suicide by hanging, and that none of her injuries indicated violent homicide. Bland’s family disputes this conclusion.
Bland had marijuana in her system at the time of her death, as well as 30 cut marks on her left wrist that were at least two to four weeks old, Waller County Prosecutor Warren Diepraam said.
As officials continue to investigate the incident, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said Monday that an independent committee of lawyers will review the evidence in the case, local KHOU reported.