Dashcam video released of Sandra Bland arrest

Dashcam video was released Tuesday of the arrest of a Waller County, TX inmate who was later found dead in her jail cell.

Sandra Bland was arrested July 10 during a traffic stop.

The video posted online Tuesday by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows the trooper stopping Bland for failure to signal a lane change. After he hands her a ticket, the trooper remarks that Bland seemed irritated. Bland says she was irritated because she was ticketed after changing lanes to get out of the path of the trooper's car.

Words are exchanged, including the trooper's request that Bland put out a cigarette. Bland says she can smoke in her own car. The trooper then orders her to step out of her car.

Bland refuses, and the trooper tells her she is under arrest. Further refusals brought the trooper's threat to "drag" her from the car. He then pulls what appears to be a weapon and says, "I will light you up."

When she steps out, the trooper orders her to the side of the road. There, the confrontation continues off camera but is still audible.

The 28-year-old Bland was found hanging in her jail cell three days after the incident.

Her death was ruled a suicide, but her family disputes that.

Ahead of the release of the video, lawmakers gathered to talk about moving the case forward.

Sen. Royce West, a veteran lawyer and Dallas Democrat, spoke at a news conference Tuesday with Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other officials following a meeting about Bland's death.

West, who is black, says it's "important that America knows" there is transparency in the investigation and no "whitewash" of the facts. He also asked for ethnic diversity among the grand jurors selected to investigate the case.

"You have two episodes here that are not directly related, but they are connected,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. “You have the traffic stop and then you have her loss of life in the jail cell, and so we are being very careful to go through both and again, take the time. Everyone wants to rush, ‘Well, what do you think? What did you see?’ That's not justice."

West has asked the FBI and the Justice Department to investigate with the Texas Rangers.

Local District Attorney Elton Mathis reiterated that the case - like all jails deaths - was being investigated as a homicide.

Waller County's chief administrator says he and the district attorney met privately Tuesday with family members of Bland.

Judge Trey Duhon says Mathis told Bland's mother and sister that while evidence indicates Bland killed herself, the prosecutor intends to treat the death "no differently than a murder investigation" where "no stone is left unturned."

The meeting was requested by the family's attorney.

Duhon says Bland's family expressed some concerns and still has many questions.

The judge, the chief administrator of the county, says it was important to tell them county officials "are completely committed to an open and transparent investigative process."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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