Disturbing dashcam video released on Tuesday shows a Texas trooper pulling Bland over for failure to signal, but the incident quickly escalates when she refuses to put out a lit cigarette, prompting the officer to remove her from the vehicle. The 28-year-old black woman was found dead in a county jail cell three days later under suspicious circumstances.
“An officer does have the choice to bring anyone out of the vehicle when he stops them for his own safety,” Houck told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday. “The whole thing here is that she was very arrogant from the beginning, very dismissive of the officer, alright?”
“She has a right to be irritated,” Hill said. “A lot of us get irritated when we get pulled over. This officer comes to her and says, ‘Is there something wrong? You seem like you have an attitude.’ He’s trying to pick a fight with her.”
“Sometimes police officers act as if you’re not completely kowtowing and deferential, that somehow you’re violating a law,” he continued. “This is a perfect example of how vulnerable black women are in public spaces to law enforcement.”
CNN contributor and former NYPD detective Harry Houck argued on Tuesday that Sandra Bland would not have died in police custody if she had not been “arrogant from the very beginning.”