It’s been a year to the day that a young African-American woman named Sandra Bland traveled to Texas to start a new job at a college, and ended up dead in a jail cell.
Bland’s death was ruled a suicide.
In light of the ongoing controversy over police violence, now is a good time to review what happened to Sandra Bland…
The lengthy “dashcam” video of Sandra Bland’s arrest shows Bland driving normally on a road in Waller County, Texas when a state trooper named Brian Encinia saw her, made a u-turn, accelerated behind her car, and she hurriedly pulled over to let him pass.
Instead of going past her, he confronted her.
The first version of the dashcam video police released was selectively edited.
When people pointed this out, the police hurriedly released what they claim was a “raw version.”
It shows Encinia is hostile and unprofessional from the start of the interaction, first asking Bland why she appears to be “upset” about the traffic stop.
Bland explains she’s upset because Encinia came up so fast behind her that she had to change lanes to get out of his way.
The cop says he pulled her over for not signaling the lane change.
Then, inexplicably, he asks her to put out her cigarette. Legal experts say there’s no law that requires her to extinguish her cigarette.
When she refuses his odd request, he gets super angry, starts yelling at her, pulls out his Taser and threatens her with it.
Then he takes her out of view of the dashcam camera, hurls her to the ground, injures her, searches her car without her permission, and calls in back-up.
You hear her saying he slammed her head into the ground so hard that she can’t hear anything.
Over and over Sandra Bland asks how any of this is justified for an alleged offense of not signaling a lane change.
The official version of events is that she was then taken to the Waller County jail, booked for “assaulting” the police officer, and thrown into a jail cell alone.
Three days later, according to police, she was found dead in her cell, from a self-inflicted hanging.
Police claim she used a plastic trash bag to hang herself with.
Officer Encinia was fired months later, and is on trial for a misdemeanor charge of committing perjury.
Other than that, no police officer or jailer will be criminally prosecuted for Bland’s death.
Of course, there are so many unanswered questions and inconsistencies in the actions of police and in their version of events that only a fool would say the police acted properly or are telling the truth.
And it just keeps on getting worse.
For example, an “official toxicology report” claims that Bland’s body, tested after she lived three days in a jail cell, had a massive amount of THC in it.
The report’s claimed THC amount is at least three times the legal limit for drivers in Washington and Colorado!
Marijuana stays in your system for several days after you use it, but not at those concentrations.
You’d have to have recently eaten several high-potency space cakes or several grams of marijuana concentrates to approach the THC blood levels Sandra Bland allegedly had in her system after three days in jail.
You’d be so high you might even feel sick. You sure as hell would be obviously, insanely stoned.
But there’s absolutely no evidence from the dashcam video or any other source that Sandra Bland was intoxicated on marijuana while she was driving, when she was pulled over, or when she was in jail.
Some people speculate that Sandra Bland used marijuana while in her jail cell.
But all arrestees are searched when they’re jailed, and there’s no record Bland had any marijuana or that she was ever involved with marijuana at any time in her life.
How would she get marijuana when she’s isolated by herself in a jail cell?
Not only that, there’s no evidence she was stoned: videos and other evidence show Sandra Bland was totally lucid while she was incarcerated awaiting bail, even just two hours before she was allegedly found dead in her cell.
And even if Bland somehow managed to smuggle marijuana edibles or other concentrates into the cell, her blood THC levels would likely not have been as high as the report says they were.
We must remember that marijuana allegations are routinely used to slag victims of police violence, and that police violence against marijuana growers and users is routine.
BigBudsMag.com has published articles about police killings of unarmed marijuana users.
Incidents of unjustified police beatings and shootings of marijuana people keep on happening.
For example, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina earlier this year, police dressed in military uniforms busted down the door of young Julian Betton while he was playing his XBOX.
Betton wasn’t wielding a weapon and didn’t resist arrest, but police peppered the young man and his apartment with bullets.
He was hit nine times, and suffered severe wounds to his stomach, arms, legs, and internal organs.
He was in a coma for many weeks, and is now paralyzed from the waist down.
What was his crime? Betton had eight ounces of marijuana.
Initially, the raid team claimed they shot Betton because he shot at them first.
Later, they admitted that was a total lie.
Betton is charged only with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a relatively minor offense, and certainly not an offense that has being shot, being paralyzed, or being almost killed as any of the penalties allowed by law.
In another war on marijuana incident from South Carolina, police shot 19-year-old unarmed Zachary Hammond in the back during a sting operation designed to arrest a small-time marijuana dealer. Hammond died.
The police officer who fired the shots claimed Hammond was trying to run him over, but the shots in the back refute the officer’s claim.
And in the officer’s first report of the incident, which resulted in Hammond’s girlfriend being charged with possession of a tiny amount of marijuana, he didn’t even mention that he shot and killed Hammond.
The officer who killed Hammond is of course on paid administrative duty.
And what happened to Sandra Bland in Texas is not so surprising when you learn that Texas has long been known as a racist state, and a drug war state.
Many police officers (including the police chief) and prosecutorial officials in Waller County, Texas have a history of racism.
The police chief himself was fired from a previous job because of racism.
Some say Waller County has never even fully erased segregation laws and traditions that discriminate against blacks.
Waller County jail officers claim Bland told them she was suicidal, but the jail intake paperwork they use to back their claims about that is contradictory– some analysts suggest it might have been faked by her jailers.
Not only that, it appears Bland was left alone in her cell without monitoring for many hours while she was waiting for someone to come bail her out of jail, which violates jail policy that requires hourly monitoring for a prisoner who’s a suicide risk.
I mean, c’mon, really… how is it that you take someone into custody in your jail, and they mysteriously end up dead, with huge amounts of THC in their bloodstream?
Sandra Bland was a college graduate, a community volunteer who helped elderly people and kids, and an outspoken YouTube public activist against police brutality and police racism.
She was a law-abiding, civic-minded citizen who got pulled over for what is at best a ticketable offense, was subjected to police brutality, thrown into a jail cell alone, and is now dead.
When you watch the dashcam video, you see a proud, strong-minded, assertive black woman trying to resist unjustified arrest and police brutality.
Why would a woman like that kill herself?
Why was a plastic garbage bag strong enough to be made into a noose placed in her cell?
How and why would a woman who had gargantuan amounts of THC in her system be able to make a plastic noose and hang herself?
The official version of events makes no sense at all.
But then again, this happened in Texas.
An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report notes that Texas is second in America in marijuana arrests, and that although blacks make up only 12% of Texas’s population, 25% of people arrested for marijuana in Texas are blacks.
ACLU stats show that Waller County is one of the main Texas counties where marijuana arrests of blacks are disproportionately high when compared to marijuana arrests of whites.
None of this surprises us here at BigBudsMag.com.
We’ve written about a former Texas drug cop named Barry Cooper who got tired of the criminals he worked with (his fellow police officers), changed sides, and now spends his time helping marijuana people defeat police tactics.
Cooper says Texas cops create bogus traffic stops so they can search cars and do asset forfeiture on innocent drivers.
What’s particularly revealing about the official “dashcam” video from Officer Encinia’s cruiser is it shows him making other traffic stops before he targets Bland, and he treats those people nicely.
Bland had a popular YouTube channel on which she talked truth about racism and police abuses.
One wonders if Bland was on some kind of official “watch list” because she was a member of the #blacklivesmatter movement.
Before you dismiss that as paranoia, know that federal and state governments have been using the National Security Agency and private spy companies to monitor social justice, environmental, animal rights, and civil rights activists.
In some cases, the spies provide information to local police.
Some people suspect that Sandra Bland was targeted because she was black, was publicly active in the #blacklivesmatter movement, and because she refused to submit meekly to Encinia’s unlawful orders and brutality.
In fact, during the traffic stop, she said she was going to sue Encinia.
Is it possible that Bland was perceived as a threat, was fed marijuana edibles or otherwise dosed with them by police, and they killed her and made it look like a suicide? Yes, it is.
And if she actually did kill herself, why did she do it?
Could it be because she was baited during a bogus traffic stop, slammed to the ground, thrown in jail, and then left alone in a cell with no human contact?
What’s even worse is that the local sheriff and a bunch of his cronies are doing the so-called “independent investigation” of Sandra’s death.
News reports indicate the investigation isn’t even an attempt to determine wrongdoing or prosecute the people who contributed to Bland’s demise.
Given what I experienced during a brutal arrest for growing marijuana, I can assure you police officers are very skilled in lying, falsifying evidence, tampering with crime scenes, and doing terrible things to unarmed, harmless people.
From Eric Garner being choked to death by NYPD, to unarmed Walter Scott being shot in the back as he ran away from an officer, to Samuel DuBose being murdered by a Cincinnati police officer, more and more people are realizing that police routinely use excessive force.
As mainstream Americans react with shock and surprise at the increasing exposure of police abuses, I remind them that marijuana growers, sellers, and users of all ethnicities have long seen the police at their worst.
We know the criminal justice system is prejudiced against the marijuana community, with marijuana defendants sometimes getting worse penalties than rapists, child molesters, and other dangerous criminals.
You can watch the videos embedded in this article and see for yourself how crazy police are.
There’s a war against us. Someone should start an organization called “Marijuana Lives Matter.”
For those who say “not all police officers are bad,” realize there’s a code of silence and complicity among the police forces and in police unions.
Police officers won’t snitch on each other, and they never admit to wrongdoing.
The “good cops” keep silent about police misconduct because they know if they rat out their bad colleagues, they could end up getting shot by fellow police officers, like what happened to New York City police detective Frank Serpico when he tried to stop police corruption.
We could all end up being Sandra Bland… so be vigilant, strong, and careful, especially if you have any contact with police officers.
And definitely check out our article on protecting yourself by filming police if they have any interaction with you. It could save your life!