There is nothing that says you have to put out your cigarette when pulled over. I heard the interaction and frankly, it sounds like this officer got his nose out of joint. And he gets her out of the car, slams her head on the ground and when she says something like, "I can't wait for court," her fate was sealed (at least from this viewer POV).

She did not commit suicide (and that must be some strong garbage bag to hold that kind of weight).

A true injustice and yet another example of why police departments needs to be more selective on who they hire.
..HiS disgraceful behavior Simply ruins Relations between community and the many many good ones we do have on the force Just making a living and trying to survive just like the rest Of Us many good Citizens sick and tired of these rogue individuals with a badge
Quick thoughts after watching the full thing:

There's something wonky with the video. There are points where the video and audio are not in sync. The tow truck driver repeatedly gets in and out of his truck or where the same cars are looping back and forth. The officer audio feed cuts out about 2/3 of the way through...right where...

This mother-fucking popinjay popo is telling somebody (commanding officer?) that he tried to de-escalate the situation, lies about the actual chain of events, and tries to figure out whether the most appropriate charge is resisting arrest or assault. This is beyond maddening.

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was started to monitor police behavior and resist to police brutality. Forty-mother-fucking-nine-years later we still need the Panthers. And that is as tragic as it is disgusting.
@1 & 2: All true, but if she had only gotten out of the car. De-escalting is a prudent thing to do for the citizenry as it is a duty for the police.

The director of Selma says it was altered.…

Sometimes I hope that you get shot by a reckless law enforcement officer.
There are several interactions here which are poisonous for relations between the police and the public. First off, the police officer doesn't like her grumpy (yet completely justified) attitude about getting pulled over for an improper lane change (who hasn't had a cop speeding up behind them and decided that they best get the fuck over quick), so there's a moment when you hear him decide "ok, fuck you, I'm gonna turn this antagonistic by arbitrarily demanding you put your cigarette out." No reason for this, but a relatively minor throwing of cop-weight around. Next, when she refuses, he demands that she get out of the car, and when she refuses, he immediately escalates to pointing a taser in her face. This is way out of hand for someone who's simply refusing to stand up. If you can't deal with this sort of passive resistance without escalating, remain calm and get someone to help. Third, once he has her in handcuffs, he starts pulling the bullshit cop maneuver of giving her conflicting instructions and yelling at her no matter what she does. ("Come read here. I SAID STAY RIGHT THERE." @12:20) More pointless escalation of the stress of the situation. And finally, once she's in the car, he immediately start coming up with a story of what happened that doesn't match the facts at all. He claims she got unruly while he was just trying to get her to get out of the car to sign. Aside from the video contradicting that, is anybody going to ask him why he was asking a person receiving a written warning to get out of the car to sign? If that's the point where it got unruly, why wasn't he just handing her the warning through the window?

All of these things are minor and might sound like quibbles to someone who wants to be on the cop's side, but these all completely contribute to tension between cops and civilians, they all serve to send people the message that the cops are in control of them, and they're all avoidable if cops are instilled with the attitude that they're there to help people, not exert arbitrary control and crush their faces into the sidewalk if they get lippy in response.
The only redeeming thing about this video is the fact that while they're wrestling with her off camera, she's obviously in a lot of pain but she continues, through tears, to repeatedly tell the cop that he's a fucking pussy. I like her.
@5: Thanks. And Ben Norton agrees:…
@6: Well, if a cop starts loosing his cool because I'm not getting out of the car -- standing your ground to prove some point is NOT what any sane person would think as advisable. But, sometimes, you are not sane.
Fact is, she could have and we would never have known about it because it would not have escalated into her arrest (rightly or wrongly) and she would still be alive to today and her family would still have her.
But that's all moot now, we might as well consider this incident already Fergusonized.
Well, yeah. Now that she's dead. From a trash bag. After threatening a lawsuit with what we know see as evidence.
Guess that's Fergusonized.
Well said @7! Something is not right with the way things were handled.
The video suspiciously appears to have been edited. You can see a few places (around minute 35, for example) where there are cuts or where footage repeats itself — like a car in the background just disappears, or you see the same car making the same left turn multiple times. Why is that happening?

So many commenters here and elsewhere on the internet are basically saying "black people just need to let cops stomp on their dignity harder, then this sort of thing wouldn't happen." Makes me sick.
This was the top story on NBC morning show "Today." Listen to Matt Lauer if you're an American and want to know the real story.
The cop was never anything but courteous until he had no choice. From the very beginning she was combative and trying to start a fight. She got exactly what she was begging for. If she'd kept her mouth shut he might have even let her off with a warning or at the most given her a ticket she deserved. End of the story.
@17 stfu bigot
#17, Respect mah authoritah!
Oh raindrop, hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

That is the best joke I have ever heard! Thank you!
@20 should refer to @15.
@17, when the cop came back with the warning he started right in with unnecessary demands (like put out your cigarette) for no reason other than, I have to assume, to put her in her place. That's not being courteous, that's intentionally escalating. Beyond that, he started by chasing her down and when she quickly moved out of the way of the cop car, as you're supposed to do, he pulled her over for doing it. She should never have been pulled over in the first place.

Yes, she was unnecessarily combative. I wouldn't talk to a cop like that myself but he started the conflict and intentionally escalated it at every opportunity. Admittedly, she made it easy for him to escalate it but being rude to a cop is not illegal. Being rude to a cop is not a reason to pull someone from a car, it's not a reason to handcuff, arrest, throw her to the ground or anything else. You can be rude to cops all day. You shouldn't, because you shouldn't be rude to people in general, but that's not justification for arrest and abuse.
And was the arresting (assaulting) officer drug tested, post-incident? I want pre-employment, random and post-use of force incident drug testing for police officers . . . and I want caffeine to be measured. Take another look at Ian Birk and tell me that guy didn't have some trenti's on board.…
So far, Arthur Zefferelli has had the decency to stay out of this one. I doubt our luck will hold on that.
Any chance, any possible chance, that this country's police academies will STOP training cops to be more paranoid about black people than about everybody else? The patrolman here had no objective reason to be more afraid of Sandra Bland than of a white person in the same situation, or even to be tailing her car in the first place. If she had been driving while white, he would have left her completely alone.
@17, aside from @24's excellent explanation about how being rude to a cop is not illegal, she wasn't even rude to the cop until he decided to be a prick and demand that she put her cigarette out. She was grumpy about getting a ticket, he asked her why, she explained it calmly and said that she wasn't happy about it but she had to let him do his job, and that's when he decided to be an asshole to her. If that relatively restrained grumpiness is "rude" enough for a cop to escalate things to a beat-down and arrest, then that is one shitty cop.
One thing I'm not clear on is whether it's Ms Bland or the female cop that says "Stop resisting, ma'am" while they're wrasslin' off camera. Because when I first heard it, I thought it was some brilliantly wry beatdown sarcasm on Ms Bland's part (which would have fit well with her "oh yeah, I bet that makes you feel like a big man" patter), but that was before I knew there was a second female in the scene, and when I rewatched it, I think the voice sounds much to clear to be her.
@15,435: seconded
@27 I think it's clear that she'd have been a lot better off if she was a white dude reaching (twice!) for one of the six loaded weapons he had in his car during the stop.…
@raindrop just a few more posts here...
@16 I suggest "Listen to Matt Lauer if you're an American and want to know the real story" as general life advice for most situations.
@4 I don't hope you get shot, for what it's worth.
@20, do you have any examples of complete horseshit? Thanks in advance.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.