Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Closer Look at Brian Encinia’s Arrest of Sandara Bland

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Brian Encinia                    Sandra Bland

There’s new dashcam video from the arrst of Sandra Bland in Prairie View, Texas ( and it doesn’t much help Officer Brian Encinia, although nothing much can be done to make that incident look any better.

Encinia told other officers that he “tried to de-escalate the situation,” but that it didn’t work.

THAT appears to be a lie...or at least a mis-statement. When Brian Encinia demanded that Sandra Bland extinguish her cigarette in her own car, he was actually ESCALATING that situation and that order was illegal, or at least UNLAWFUL, as Ms. Bland had every right to smoke (it’s LEGAL) in her own car, no matter how much Officer Encinia may not have liked her smoking.

This is the full dashcam video of Brian Encinia’s arrest of Sandra Bland ( and here is a minute and a half of cell phone video shot of the encounter (

He also illegally/unlawfully demanded that a by-passer cease filming the encounter. The courts have ruled numerous times that citizens have a right to record interactions with police.

For the record, I'm a HUGE supporter of greatly INCREASED surveillance

During the encounter, Officer Encinia appears to deliberately escalate the situation, evolving from a traffic stop for a minor infraction, which he claims (in the audio of his own dashcam video) to have intended to give Ms. Bland a warning over, to what appears to be an unlawful arrest.

The answer to ALL of this is MORE surveillance, NOT less. The people have a RIGHT to know. They NOT ONLY have a right to know about police actions at a scene, but publicly accessible cameras SHOULD BE mandated in both prosecuting and defense attorney offices/quarters, in police stations and ALL government buildings.

People act more civilly when they KNOW, or even suspect that they’re being recorded. IF you’re in government and doing/saying things that you wouldn’t want the public to hear, that’s probably because what you’re doing or saying is illegitimate, possibly illegal...STOP IT!

NO ONE in GOVERNMENT should EVER be ALLOWED to ACT, or even deliberate in the shadows.

Prosecutors should especially come under such scrutiny. In numerous recent and not so recent cases it’s been shown that prosecutors have withheld evidence from defense attorneys. (1) That MUST be made grounds for an immediate disbarment and (2) it shows WHY surveillance cameras in such quarters is a necessity.

The answer is NEVER restricting public access to information, the ONLY answer is MORE public access, even and especially when such access forces people to explain and justify their actions. If you can’t justify your actions then they’re probably illicit and you are engaged in corrupt and almost certainly illegal activity...again, just STOP IT!

In my view, Officer Encinia’s actions were unprofessional at best, and at points illegal/unlawful (demanding that a citizen extinguish a cigarette and telling by-passers to cease recording the encounter). In my view Officer Encinia, the Prairie View Police Department and the township of Prairie View, TX. are all culpable in what appears to be a wrongful arrest. The courts SHOULD give Sandra Bland’s family the standing to take that action forward on her behalf.

Holding individual police officers accountable (1) serves to undermines any existing support for them within those Departments and Municipalities, as they cost them money and (2) undermines the code of silence that allows some rogue officers to routinely get away with arrogant illegality.

The important thing to remember is that the percentage of bad/incompetent doctors, attorneys, CEO’s is about the SAME as the percentage of bad/incompetent police officers...AND the answer to ALL of it is MORE surveillance, NOT LESS. Certain career paths are too critical to afford members privacy. A prosecutor’s office CANNOT be trusted to ensure that the defense gets all the available evidence, because all too often SOME of that evidence might prove exculpatory.

So, YES, police officers SHOULD be subject to more scrutiny (body cams, etc.), BUT so should a LOT of professions...perhaps MOST professions today.

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