Thursday July 23, 2015
Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis is characterizing Sandra Bland — who died last week in a jail in the Texas county — as being “very combative” and “not a model person” during the traffic stop that led to her arrest and incarceration. His disparaging assessment appears to be far from the truth.
Recently released dashboard camera video of Bland’s arrest shows that throughout her ordeal on a Texas roadway Bland behaved appropriately and much as would many other ordinary people in a similar situation. Bland’s response may even have been more muted than average considering the infuriating nonsense she had to deal with — an out-of-control cop pulling her over for changing lanes without using a turn signal and then proceeding, for no good reason, to force her out of her car, throw her to the ground, handcuff her, and send her off to jail.
Bland’s response to the police harassment and brutality is commendable. Unless you accept the police-state mindset that Mathis’ comments suggest, you can’t help but admire Bland boldly standing up to a cop who literally had the power of life and death in his hands on that Texas roadway.