Waller County, Texas, officials have released three days worth of video of arrestee Sandra Bland that they say will dispel rumors that the black woman found dead in jail earlier this month was impaired or harmed when brought to the Waller County Jail.
In the video released during a press conference Tuesday with Waller County Judge Trey Duhon, Bland is seen exiting a trooper vehicle, hands cuffed behind her back, walking into the jail, and also walking into the intake room in the jail, hands cuffed. In both segments, she appears physically well, though in the intake room, she appears to place her forehead in her hand a few times and wipes her eyes. She also appears frustrated or exasperated in her mannerisms as she seems to ask questions of a police officer assisting with her intake.
Duhon said county officials were responding to rumors and allegations floating through social media and mainstream news organizations exploring whether Bland died during her arrest on July 10th or whether she is dead in her mugshot. Bland was arrested July 10th for failing to signal that she was changing lanes when she became combative with a trooper, authorities said. Bland, 28, was driving from Illinois to Texas to begin a new job.
Duhon said the rumors have placed officials in Waller County under “cyber attack,” and he named the group Anonymous for spreading the claim that Bland was already dead when her mug shot was taken. Members of the public on social media said her skin appeared mottled and her eyes vacant.
“We’re hoping that by providing this video, that will dispel a lot of these rumors and mistruths that have been perpetuated,” Duhon said. “I hope people will understand that when it comes to correct information, social media cannot be relied upon.”
Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last week, rumors swirled through social media that Bland might have died under some untoward circumstances, and before her mugshot was taken. Michael Baden, former medical examiner for the City of New York, evaluated the photo for USA TODAY and said Bland did not appear dead to him, partly because her eyes appeared “purposefully” open.