Sandra Bland booking documents, voicemail left from jail released

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Thursday, July 23, 2015
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The Waller County district attorney released six pages of medical forms Sandra Bland filled out after her arrest.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of 28-year-old Sandra Bland, the Chicago-area woman found hanging in a Texas jail cell on July 13, three days after being arrested, spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday afternoon about newly-released dashcam footage.

The Waller County district attorney released six pages of medical forms Bland filled out after her arrest. In them, Bland checked "no" when asked the question "Are you thinking about killing yourself today?" But on the next line, when asked "Have you ever attempted suicide?", she checked "yes" and wrote in "2014", "lost baby" and "pills."

"We take issue with the notion that she was suffering from depression. She was not clinically diagnosed that this family understands. Everyone goes through hills and valleys," said Cannon Lambert Sr., Bland family attorney.

Bland's family is still stunned, angry and in search of answers, and the video from the police dashboard camera has angered them even more.

"Looking at that, as her sister, I simply feel like the officer was picking on her," says Sharon Cooper.

Bland was pulled over on July 10 for failure to signal a lane change, according to the Waller County Sheriff's Office. The officer's body microphone recorded their conversation in the dashcam video, where he told Bland she seemed irritated. She agreed. The video shows the conversation turned into a heated exchange after Bland refused the officer's request to put out a lit cigarette.

In the video, the officer drew what appears to be a Taser and ordered Bland out of the car. He then escorted her out of view. The trooper said in an arrest affidavit Bland swung her elbows at him and kicked his right leg in the shin.

Family and friends say watching the video is difficult. They are demanding answers about why the trooper escalated the encounter.

"I'm disgusted we even have a discussion about an autopsy because she was pulled over for something so insignificant and because of an officer who felt like maybe his ego was bruised," says Cooper. "If you tell me you're going to light me up, I won't get out of the car."

Bland was in Texas considering two job offers, which her family says is evidence she had no reason to commit suicide.

Autopsy results have been completed in Texas and were supposed to be released by the Harris County Medical Examiner Wednesday afternoon, but have yet to be approved by the Waller County State's Attorney.

The family and Bland's mother in particular are withholding comment for the most part until after her burial this weekend. Her funeral is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at DuPage AME Church in west suburban Lisle.

Her mother, however, spoke briefly at a prayer vigil held in Texas Tuesday night.

"She said 'Mom, now I know what my purpose is. My purpose is to go back to Texas, my purpose is to stop all social injustice,'" Geneva Reed-Veal said.

LISTEN: Sandra Bland leaves friend a voicemail from jail

While in Texas, Bland was staying with a friend, for whom she left a voicemail from jail shortly before she was found dead in her cell.

"Hey this is me," Bland says in the message. "I'm, um, I just was able to see the judge. I don't really know. They got me set at a $5,000 bond. I'm still just at a loss for words with this whole process, how switching lanes with no signal turned into all of this, I don't even know. But I'm still here, so, I guess call me back when you can."

Relatives and friends say they are waiting for results of the investigation before proceeding with any legal action.

Authorities are also looking into whether parts of the dashcam video were edited out after viewers noticed visual inconsistencies, such as looping images, after its release Tuesday. The family says they will have the video examined by a forensic specialist independently as well.

Texas Department of Safety officials told ABC News Wednesday that "the video has not been edited." They said the department had the FBI examine both the dashcam video and the jailhouse video to ensure their integrity.

Officials said the portion of the video that shows the arresting officer's phone conversation with his sergeant was affected when it was originally uploaded. They said the upload issue was addressed and reposted the dashcam video Wednesday.

Police released the raw, uncut dashcam arrest video Wednesday:

Warning: Video contains explicit language.

The original video that appeared to contain jump cuts was removed from YouTube.

State authorities have promised a thorough investigation into Bland's death and the arrest

Jailhouse video was released Monday. It shows emergency responders rushing to Bland's cell after she was found hanged with a trash can liner.

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

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

Bland's death has been ruled a suicide. But the Waller County district attorney said he is treating this case as a murder investigation, a standard in jail death investigations, until he has more information. The FBI and Texas Rangers are also investigating.

A grand jury will ultimately deliver a decision in the case based on the investigation.

The officer involved has been assigned to administrative duties.