Recently released surveillance footage from inside Waller County Jail shows Sandra Bland was alive when she was brought into the jail.
The first portion of the video released at a press conference this afternoon shows Bland entering the jail in the back of Prairie View police officer Penny Goodie's squad car. Bland walks into the jail's intake area and sits down. Goodie, a Waller County jailer, and Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia are shown there with her, filling out what Waller County judge Trey Duhon said are intake forms as Bland responds to questions.
On one of those intake forms, Bland answered that she had attempted suicide earlier in 2015. She was found dead in her cell at Waller County Jail three days after her arrest.
The video shows Bland moving about the jail—at the booking desk making phone calls, resting in a holding cell, getting fingerprinted, having her mugshot taken. However, the video does not show what happened inside cell 95, where, according to authorities, Bland's body was found hanging by a plastic garbage bag.
Duhon said the footage was released to dispel rumors that Bland was deceased before entering the jail. He said these rumors have led to death threats against Waller County officials and facilities, but he wouldn't go into much detail about the threats.
"We are under attack, cyber attack, by groups like Anonymous that say Sandra Bland was dead in her mugshot," Duhon said. "These are the raw files. They have not been altered in any way. This is Sandra Bland— there is no way around it. Sandra Bland was alive and well in Waller County Jail at the time she entered the building."
While the video shows Bland was alive, it does not exactly show she was "well." Bland is often seen with her head down or cradling her head in her hands. Other clips show her appearing to wipe tears from her eyes. She is also shown making about five phone calls in a 22-minute period— during these calls, Duhon said, Bland appeared "animated." There was no audio for the footage.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Duhon said the jailers working behind the booking desk where Bland made these calls have been questioned by investigators about what they may have overheard. He could not tell us who Bland called, but Capt. Brian Cantrell in the Waller County Sheriff's office said they have been in touch with the jail's phone company and are trying to retrieve the phone numbers.
Duhon said the footage will be edited down into a compilation of relevant clips and uploaded to YouTube.
UPDATE: We've embedded one of the video clips below. You can watch the rest here.