July 13 will mark two years since the death of the woman whose racial profiling incident sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. Sandra Bland was 28-years-old when a police officer in Texas Waller County pulled her over for not signaling a lane change. Something that would — or dare I say, should — under normal circumstances, have resulted in a fine or even a warning, escalated into a major event that would ultimately turn fatal. Little reminder is needed as we recall the horrific way that Bland was forcefully removed from her car by the cop because she wouldn’t extinguish her cigarette. Moreover, as seen on a recording by a dashcam video, she was threatened by an obviously short-tempered officer who pulled a stun gun or her and threatened, “I will light you up!”
When the incident hit social media emotions ran high. But they reached a boiling point when Bland was discovered hung in her jail cell three days later and her death was ruled a suicide.
Adding insult to injury, the arresting officer, a state trooper named Brian T. Encinia, had attempted to justify the arrest by charging Bland with ‘assaulting a public servant.’ But thanks to the video, a perjury charge and subsequent trial held Encinia accountable and he was ultimately fired for the way he handled Bland’s arrest.