Sandra Bland arrest dash cam video released

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Sandra Bland dash cam arrest video released
Dash cam video of Sandra Bland's arrest was released Tuesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Officials say they've asked the U.S. Department of Justice to help in the investigation of the death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail cell as authorities released dash cam video Tuesday from her July 10 arrest.

FULL VIDEO: Sandra Bland dashcam arrest

Warning: Video contains explicit language.

In the dash cam video - which began as a routine traffic stop for failure to signal a lane change - the officer tells Bland she seems irritated and she agrees. When Bland refuses the officer's request to put out a lit cigarette, it starts the argument that leads to her arrest.

"I'm going to drag you out of here. Get out of the car! I will light you up, get out!" the officer shouts.

Both walk off-camera but the officer is wearing a microphone and it captures the heated conversation. He tells Bland to put down her phone, she refuses and replies "You feel good about yourself now. Why am I being arrested?"

Bland swears numerous times as he tells her to stop moving, handcuffs her and arrests her. As the two argue, a witness begins recording cell phone video around this time and the officer is heard talking to that person.

"You need to leave. You need to leave. You need to leave," the officer says to the witness.

Bland also notices the person recording her arrest.

"Thank you for recording! Thank you. For a traffic signal. Slammed me in to the ground and everything," Bland said.

Also released Tuesday was the arrest affidavit signed by the trooper, who writes "Bland began swinging her elbows at me and then kicked my right leg in the shin." There was no mention of his threat to "light you up" or what appears to be a drawn Taser in the video.

The dash cam video left Bland's family with more questions.

"What happened to Sandra Bland in police custody, what happened to her? Why was she ever removed from her car?" said Sharon Cooper, Bland's sister.

Officials are investigating Bland's death as a homicide - a standard in jail death investigations. A grand jury will ultimately deliver a decision in the case based on the investigation.

"It is important that her family has confidence in the efficacy of this investigation, which is why the Waller County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney originally requested investigative assistance from the Texas Rangers; and it's also why DPS requested the FBI assist in this investigation," said Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw during a press conference Tuesday.

The medical examiner ruled the Chicago-area woman's death a suicide. But her family believes otherwise.

The Waller County sheriff's office released video Monday from inside the jail cell where the 28-year-old woman was found and a timeline of her interactions with guards on the day she died.

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

The video shows the corridor outside Bland's jail cell and jail personnel scrambling to save Bland on July 13. Authorities said she hanged herself with a plastic garbage bag in a toilet area that is concealed by a privacy wall. Paramedics rushed to Bland's cell to perform CPR, but it was too late.

The log released by the sheriff's office indicates that at 7:05 a.m. on July 13, Bland appeared in good health, telling a jailer, "I am good." At 7:55 a.m., Bland used her intercom to ask how to make a call from the phone in her cell. But no call is ever made. Her body was found about an hour later.

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

"Seeing that there has been a great scrutiny by outside sources into the cause of Ms. Bland's death, I want to make clear that the death of Ms. Bland was a tragic incident, not one of criminal intent," said Capt. Brian Cantrell, Waller County Sheriff's Department.

"To say this young lady, who has a degree and has a supportive family - suicide, sir, is a very highly accusation. I'd say greater than murder. That you've killed your own life," said Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, Empowerment Church Baltimore.

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. But relatives said 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 said the jail surveillance video shows no one entering Bland's cell before she was found dead.

"The preliminary investigation - the information I've received - say at this point, this is a suicide," said Elton Mathis, Waller County District Attorney.

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.

A funeral for Bland has been scheduled for 9 a.m. on July 25 at DuPage AME Church in suburban Lisle.