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Sandra Bland Tag

Texas police officer Michael Kelley has claimed prosecutors on the Sandra Bland case threatened his career if he brought forth evidence of wrongdoing. Kelley, from Prairie View, said he saw "marks on her forehead after a confrontation with state trooper Brian Encinia." The AP reported:
Kelley said he was never contacted by special prosecutors handling the case, and the Waller County district attorney's top assistant said there would be repercussions if he spoke to a Bland family attorney. Prosecutors have strongly denied Kelley's allegations.

Various news agencies, including The New York Times, have reported today that there were no indictments issued by a Texas grand jury with respect to the in-custody death of Sand Bland. By all appearances, Bland had hanged herself in her cell. Bland was 28-years-old when she responded with anger and non-compliance after being lawfully pulled over in what should have been a routine traffic stop.  As a result she got herself arrested. As we wrote at the time in "Sandra Bland Arrest: Another Lesson in Non-Compliance," Bland's conduct was "a free lesson in how not to act during a traffic stop if you don’t want to get yourself arrested." Video of her conduct that triggered her arrest was captured on the patrol car's dash camera: The Grand Jury's decision to not indict apparently extends only to the circumstances around her death and the conduct of the jail staff.

So there's another notable arrest in the news, that of black woman Sandra Bland by white Texas patrol officer, and thus we have yet another "teachable moment" in non-compliance to lawful police orders. (Note that I address here only Bland's arrest--I've no particular insight into her death three days later while in custody.  Also, I limit my points to the issue of legality, as opposed to procedure or policy.) Thanks to the officer's dash-cam, almost all of the interaction between him and Bland is captured on video.  If you haven't seen it, here it is: Now that is a free lesson in how not to act during a traffic stop if you don't want to get yourself arrested. As usual, there's a considerable amount of outrage being expressed by people who possess a very limited practical and theoretical understanding of the laws and dynamics governing arrest.
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