At this stage in the investigation of the Sandra Bland tragedy it really would require an exceptional degree of determination to believe that she might have been killed by Sheriff’s deputies in Waller County Jail on July 13th, or three days after allegedly kicking state trooper Brian Encinia after he pulled her over for a penny-ante traffic violation in Prairie View, Texas. The concept of a 28 year-old woman hanging herself over being temporarily incarcerated sounds extremely bizarre, but all the evidence points to suicide. It makes no “sense” apart from Bland having allegedly been distraught over her bail amount and having told authorities that she attempted suicide earlier, but there’s just no way to trust any other interpretation.
On top of which the arrest video makes it obvious that while Encinia over-reacted to Bland’s refusal to extinguish her cigarette, Bland needlessly and immaturely aggravated the situation by refusing to get out of her car when ordered, and then by challenging Encinia’s authority and generally increasing the agitation factor. This seems to be an opinion held only by know-nothing white guys like myself, but you’ll never get a cop to back off by getting pissy and contentious. There’s only one way to play it, and that’s to dial it down and think Bhagavad Gita thoughts. Some feel historically obligated to challenge cops or run away if they feel they’re being unfairly treated, but that shit never works.
I wrote the following on 8.14 after Michael Brown/Ferguson tragedy: “Leaving aside the present ugliness, no one should misunderstand a simple fact about cops, which is that they deal with the worst aspects of human nature 24/7 and that the only way to deal with them when they’re angry and barking some kind of order is to chill and obey. Don’t run or argue or flip the bird. Just give in and show submission and that’ll be the end of it. The key is to make them feel placated so they’ll move on. You will always make it worse if you give them any kind of shit. You can’t improve the situation by going ‘why don’t you leave me the fuck alone?’ Some people can’t get this. Suck in the resentment, force yourself to be cool.”