Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dashcam of Sandra Bland traffic stop released

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

I just watched half an hour of this just released dash cam video of the traffic stop that got Sandra Bland arrested., I can't watch more for now.  She eventually died in jail.  It was hard to watch as he pulled her over for not signaling as she changed lanes.  Later in the video she explains that she pulled over at his urging.

What I thought was interesting in the beginning is that he was in a friendly mood talking to some other young woman he was ticketing prior.  I also noticed he was standing talking to her at the driver side window (I do not know if she was African American or European.) But he approached Sandra Bland and went to the passenger side.  I thought that a bit odd. I'd like to see if he approached the previous stop that way first.

He goes back to the police car and its almost four and a half minutes before he returns which also seems a bit long as if he was messing with her. I mean, this was for a lane change without indicating for Christ's sake.  He asks her if there's something wrong and she says she is irritated, she's not abusive, just irritated she's stopped for a lane change violation. When he asks her what's wrong and she tells him in a calm manner he says "Are you done" She responds that he asked a question and she answered. he then tells her to put out her cigarette as she's sitting in her own car. He ends up threatening to taze her I guess. But what's he doing questioning her mood? Do we all crack jokes and laugh it up when they give us tickets, I don't think so. Then he nastily tells her, "Are you done?" I don't like him.

He appears to be an arrogant shit to me. But right now I can't watch more of it I'm so angry that this woman's life is disrupted and then ended over this. I felt so deeply for her frustration and anger. She is a woman, she is black, she's in the South.  I don't know what bullshit she might have put up with that day or the previously one or whatever, but I completely shared her frustration. It's a sense of powerlessness too as shits like this little man with a gun and the state behind him can kill you at the drop of a hat.  As a black person there is no way she cannot be aware of the daily killing of blacks by cops as well. I wish I could have helped her. Hearing what would be her close to last utterances makes me very sad and angry at the same time.

I remember being parked in my backhoe on College at Ashby in Berkeley, I was heading south.  I saw an old fella in a beat up car heading east on Ashby waiting to turn left on to college. But you can't do that between 4pm and 6pm, there's no left turn at that time of day.  Two cops are sitting to might right pointing in the same direction as me. They were lower than me as my hoe is a bigger vehicle. I saw the old man was going to make an illegal left, it's common when it is only illegal for a short period in the day.

I honked to warn him not to do that. One of the bike cops looks up at me and wags his finger threateningly that I should pipe down which I did, I was on the clock. The old man made the left and got nailed.

Who'd want to spend their day doing that.

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