Sandra Bland jailhouse clips released, dash cam arrest video delayed

Eric Horng Image
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Jailhouse video released in Sandra Bland case
Waller County officials have released surveillance video of the jail where Sandra Bland was booked from the morning of her death.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Waller County Sheriff's Office held a press conference about 28-year-old Villa Park ntive Sandra Bland's death on Monday during which they released jailhouse surveillance video and said dash cam footage of her arrest would be released Tuesday.

Officials say the momrning of her death, Bland inquired about making a phone call. She was found hanging in the 15 by 20 foot cell, they say, about an hour later.

WATCH: Surveillance video from Waller County Jail the day Sandra Bland died

"On Monday, July 13, 2015, at 7:05 p.m., Waller County jailers, in the course of conducting their normal rounds, visually noted that Ms. Bland was in good health," said Capt. Brian Cantrell.

WATCH: Surveillance video from Waller County Jail the day Sandra Bland died

The Waller County Sheriff's Office released a timeline of the morning Bland was found dead. They say at 7:05 a.m., Bland appeared in good health and told a jailer "I am good" when they checked in on her.

At 7:55 a.m., officials say Bland used her intercom to ask how to make a call from the phone in her cell. She was told to use a PIN number she was given when she was booked, but officials say no call was ever made.

About an hour later, jail officials say they discovered her hanging in the toilet area of her cell behind a privacy petition.

"She was found in a semi-standing position with the ligature surrounding her neck," Capt. Cantrell said. "Ms. Bland was then placed on the floor to enable jailers to perform CPR."

Officials say Bland used a plastic trash can liner to hang herself.

Bland was arrested and charged with "Assault on a Public Servant," according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, on July 10. Three days later, on July 13, she was found dead in her jail cell.

Dash cam video of her arrest, expected to be released Tuesday, reportedly shows the arresting officer telling Bland she would only get a warning but then ordering her out of the car.

"I've seen the dash cam video," said Cannon Lambert, the Bland family's attorney. "It really calls into question it is for a routine traffic stop she was asked to even get out of the car."

Bland was a Black Lives Matter activist and previously discussed her battle with depression and PTSD in a video she posted to YouTube in March.

The state's autopsy ruled her death a suicide and says she used a plastic bag to hang herself.

But relatives say she was just days away from starting a new job and would never take her own life.

"A young woman having just received a job at her alma mater, Prairie View University, something she was excited about and looked forward to, is not the attitude that would suggest suicide," one of her supporters said.

Officials say the jail surveillance video shows no one entering Bland's cell before she was found dead.

The results of an independent autopsy requested by Bland's family are expected Tuesday, and the case is being investigated by the Texas Rangers with the FBI supervising.

The officer involved has been assigned to administrative duties during the investigation.