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Sandra Bland: Video Released Nearly Four Years After Her Death Shows Arrest From Her Point-Of-View

Unearthed cellphone footage prompts call for new investigation into Bland’s death in police custody

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Sandra Bland: video released nearly four years after death shows her view of arrest” was written by Oliver Laughland in New York, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 7th May 2019 17.37 UTC

Newly released cellphone footage showing the arrest of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old African American woman who died in police custody in south-east Texas in July 2015, has prompted calls for a new investigation into her death.

The 39-second clip, unearthed by Dallas-Fort Worth news channel WFAA, shows the altercation between Bland and former state trooper Brian Encinia during a traffic stop. It is the first video to show part of the incident from Bland’s point of view after police dashboard video was released shortly after Bland’s death.

It shows Encinia leaning into Bland’s vehicle and taking out his Taser shortly after he had pulled her over for allegedly failing to indicate a change of lanes. As Encinia unholsters his Taser, its lights flash on, and he points it at Bland and he shouts: “Get out of the car! I will light you up. Get out!”

Bland leaves her car and continues to record the trooper as he orders her on to the sidewalk. The Taser remains pointed at her and he shouts again, telling her to get off her phone. Bland replies: “I’m not on the phone. I have a right to record. This is my property.”

The video ends shortly after as the camera faces the floor.

Raw footage of the arrest of Sandra Bland.

Bland died three days after her arrest at the Waller county jail. It was ruled a suicide after she was found hanging in her cell.

But Bland’s family have long remained suspicious of the circumstances, and the newly released footage prompted calls for a new investigation.

The Bland family lawyer, Cannon Lambert, who settled a lawsuit against authorities implicated during the incident for .9m, said he had not seen the footage until it was obtained by local news. But the Texas department of public safety stated the footage had been released as a part of the legal discovery process during litigation.

Texas state representative Garnet Coleman, a Democrat, said: “It is troubling that a crucial piece of evidence was withheld from Sandra Bland’s family and legal team in their pursuit of justice.”

Encinia, who was fired after the incident commanded national attention, was initially indicted for perjury after he claimed he feared for his safety after stopping Bland’s vehicle. However, the charges against him were dropped after Encinia agreed to never work in law enforcement again.

“The video makes it abundantly clear there was nothing [Sandra] was doing in that car that put him at risk at all,” Lambert said.

Lawyers for Encinia claimed the new footage revealed nothing significant.

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Cardinal George Pell’s Appeal Denied; Convictions On Sex Abuse Will Stand

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MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian court has confirmed convictions against the most superior Catholic to be found condemned of child sex abuse.


The Victoria state Court of Appeal by a 2-1 majority ruling published Wednesday denied Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of the unanimous verdicts a jury issued in December finding Pope Francis’ former finance minister condemned of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 and 1997.

At the time, Pell had just become archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city and had established an international-first reimbursement method for victims of clergical sexual abuse.

His lawyers are predicted to appeal the decision in the High Court, Australia’s final arbitrator.

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Attorney Cites Trump’s Rhetoric In National Anthem Attack On Montana Teenager

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Curt James Brockway, 39, is charged with felony assault on a minor.(Montana Department of Corrections)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The attorney for a Montana man accused of throwing a 13-year-old boy to the ground at a rodeo because the teenager didn’t remove his hat during the national anthem says his client believes he was acting on an order from President Trump.


Attorney Lance Jasper told the Missoulian newspaper that the president’s “rhetoric” contributed to 39-year-old Curt Brockway’s disposition when he grabbed the boy by the throat and slammed him to the ground, fracturing his skull at the Mineral County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Jasper said Brockway is an Army veteran who believes he was acting on an order by his commander in chief. He adds that Brockway’s decision-making has been affected by a brain injury he suffered in a vehicle crash.

Brockway is charged with felony assault on a minor.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ‘I am very much alive’

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(CNN) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Tuesday sought to quell concerns that her recent health-related issues could cause her to leave the court, saying in a new interview, “I am very much alive.”

The comments to NPR from Ginsburg, 86 — who earlier this year took a break from the court after undergoing cancer surgery — come amid concerns from progressives that her death or retirement would give President Donald Trump an opportunity to replace a reliably liberal seat on the court with a conservative justice. Ginsburg has sought in recent days to signal that her health is stable and she has no plans to step down with the court facing major issues in its next session on immigration, gun control, gay rights and possibly abortion.

During Ginsburg’s recent surgery, doctors removed from her left lung two cancerous nodules, which were found during scans taken after the justice sustained three fractured ribs in a fall last November. In the interview with NPR, published Wednesday, Ginsburg made reference to the late Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, who suggested in 2009 that she would soon die from the pancreatic cancer she had been diagnosed with.

“There was a senator — I think it was after the pancreatic cancer — who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator — whose name I’ve forgotten — is now himself dead. And I am very much alive,” Ginsburg said.

Bunning, who later apologized for the remarks, died in 2017.

In the NPR interview, Ginsburg also weighed in on an idea circulating among some Democrats to increase the number of justices on the court should a Democrat be elected president, saying she disagreed.

“Well, if anything, it would make the court appear partisan. It would be that one side saying, ‘when we’re in power, it was only to enlarge the number of judges so we will have more people who will vote the way we want them to,'” she said. “So I am not at all in favor of that solution to what I see as a temporary situation.”

Ginsburg’s health has become the subject of much attention in recent years. In November 2014, she underwent a heart procedure to have a stent placed in her right coronary artery, and in 2009, she was treated for early stages of pancreatic cancer.

In 1999, just six years after being sworn in as an associate justice, she successfully underwent surgery to treat colon cancer.

Last July, Ginsburg said she hopes to stay on the bench past 2020. On Tuesday, she revealed that she traveled with the late Justice John Paul Stevens “in the last week of his life” to Lisbon, Portugal, for a conference where the two justices attended meetings, visited museums, vineyards and castles.

“His conversation was engaging, his memory amazing,” she said on Tuesday. As they were leaving the US ambassador’s residence during their last evening in Lisbon, Ginsburg told Stevens, “My dream is to remain on the court as long as you did.”

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