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Saturday, 25 July 2015

The murder of Sandra Bland and America's 'color revolution'

Joe Quinn

Sandra Bland. Remember the name, if you can. She's just the latest in a growing, publicly-known list of American citizens who have been either physically abused or murdered by US police for having the temerity to question their 'authority'.

On July 10th 2015, Sandra Bland had recently arrived in Prairie View, Waller County, Texas from Illinois to begin a new job at her alma mater, A&M University, a historically black school 40 miles northwest of Houston. Texas has been described as the most racist state in the USA, and Waller County the most racist county in Texas. Segregation there is a way of life, from the cradle to grave, literally; cemeteries in the county are divided between black and white, with significantly more money being spent on the upkeep of white cemeteries.

While driving in Prairie View that day, Waller County trooper Brian Encina, with nothing better to do than harass drivers for minor traffic "violations" that endanger no one, pulled Bland over for not signaling a lane change.

The police dash-cam video of the encounter shows that, from the get-go, Bland expressed her irritation at being stopped and fined for no good reason. She was, however, fully compliant with the officer to the extent she was required, giving him her license and registration when asked. Noticing her irritation, Encina disingenuously asked Bland "what's wrong?" This was Encina's first attempt to intimidate Bland, yet she wasn't in the mood to be cowed, and told him why she was irritated. The trooper made it clear that his question was not, in fact, sincere, by asking "are you done?" The defining moment in the encounter then occurred when Encina asked Bland to put out her cigarette. Bland refused, stating that it was her car and her right to smoke in it if she pleased and the trooper had no authority to demand otherwise. Two justified challenges to his power was all this jumped-up little authoritarian could take, and he demanded that Bland get out of her car. Bland continued to assert her rights by refusing and repeatedly asked why she was required to do so. 

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