Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How the Sandra Bland Incident has Gone Off the Rails

I wasn't going to comment on the Sandra Bland incident because I know what I will say will get a lot of people pissed off and, really, I am tired of arguing over incidents that really have nothing to do with race in spite of the fact everyone is all up in arms about racism being the instigator of whatever happened.

Take the death of Freddie Gray. A local drug dealer gets arrested for like the twenty-first time (and this means he has probably been stopped twice as many times and not been arrested), resists arrests, and ends up with a freak accident taking his life. The six officers didn't do anything unusual, they were just bringing in a lawbreaker who always causes the police trouble when he gets caught dealing poison to kids in the community and now the six police officers have had their lives ruined and may end up serving time for doing their job. Baltimore broke out in riots over #blacklivesmatter when this lowlife drug dealer didn't give a damn about black lives and the officers who were required to arrest him weren't doing anything terrible to black citizens because half of them are black citizens themselves. A whole lot of foolishness with the country coming out - black and white - to make a local thug a hero. Makes me sick.

Okay, so now we have Sandra Bland. Here is a woman who has had a number of run-ins with cops and a bunch of issues with driving. She clearly has some mental issues and was all hyped up about #blacklivesmatter and was fixing for a fight if an opportunity come up.

And it did. The Texas cop saw her blow a stop sign and u-turned to follow her. He then saw her change lanes without a signal, so he pulled her over. Now, let me tell you why he did that and why he didn't bother to mention the failure to stop at a stop sign. He wasn't really trying to ticket her; he was attempting to determine if there was something going on with the person driving the vehicle. I doubt he even had a clue the driver was black or a female; he just saw a driver acting questionably and he pulled over the vehicle. Then he went up to the car and saw it was a female and he was pleasant and she wasn't. He went back to his squad car and ran her...whether he saw there were issues with her, I don't know. He went back and she continued to act unpleasantly. He began to wonder if there was something else going on, so he was extending his interaction with her so he could see if there was was any illegal activity going on that he should pay attention to; alcohol, drugs, etc.

Sandra Bland continued acting suspiciously and so he asked to her step out of the car and she refused to comply and then got more and more defiant. Yes, the cop became irate...do you know how frustrating it is to be a cop and have to deal with mouthy criminals, people spitting on you, trying to bite you...and, sometimes, trying to kill you.....it is nerve-racking. Could the police officer have done a better job handling Sandra Bland? Sure...I guess it wasn't his best day, but Sandra Bland instigated the incident and it was her fault she ended up in jail.

Now, we have a woman who can't seem to get bail. Family and friends aren't rushing to her aid. Is this because they have had issues with her behavior before and were fed up and ignoring her calls? Have they had to deal with her erratic and belligerent outbursts in the past? Yes, after her death, we hear how perfect a woman she was but it is not at all unusual for a family to only want to speak well of a loved one who is gone.

Then we have Sandra Bland's suicide . Yes, suicide (or an accident while staging a suicide in a bid for attention) . No question that she herself put her neck in the noose. The woman had attempted suicide in the past and she appears to have been a cutter which indicates she has some serious emotional issues. Her fellow jail-mate says she was distraught and crying and freaking out. The autopsy report comes back with no indications of any sign of trauma that would indicate homicide. The videos show no one entering her cell to kill her. No one had a good reason to do Sandra Bland in. One slightly obnoxious black woman is hardly a motive for murder. If you think the police and jailers haven't run into many like her, you live in a fantasy world. And if you think that mug shot of her is after she died, you need to stop trying to make her death into a homicide.

The type of hanging Sandra Bland did is very easy to accomplish. That she would suddenly just say "the hell with it" is not uncommon with depressed and emotionally unstable people. They can seem perfectly happy and positive and then kill themselves thirty minutes later. It is not rare for families of suicide victims to refuse to believe their loved ones would kill themselves and claim they were murdered. In this respect, Sandra Bland's family was no different.

#Blacklivesmatter, yes, they do but so do white lives, police lives, all of our lives. I have no problem with a fight for justice where there is injustice but I am sick of the flames of racism being fanned where no racism has occurred. Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland were not killed by racist cops. But Sandra Bland may have been killed by the firestorm of anger and protests which caused her to lose perspective on a simple traffic stop. Perhaps if she hadn't been up in arms about police doing in black citizens, she may have realized she committed a traffic offense and was stopped just like we all get stopped when we break the law. Only difference is, most of know we just have to sit there quietly, hope for a warning, and if we end up with a ticket, go to court and deal with it or just pay up.

#Blacklivesmatter and since they do, let's continue to analyze and fight for what makes #Blacklivesbetter....and let's stop the stupidity.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

July 28, 2015


Preraph said...

Wow, thank you. I have been talking about these same things until I'm exhausted on social media and trying to focus on the details, but facts just aren't mattering to those who have made up their minds. I thought people would sit down when turns out the officer is not exactly white. Then I thought the booking video would convince them she wasn't already dead when she got to the jail. Wrong again.

darcyann66 said...

Darcy Miller Thank you Pat.Finally someone with common sense when writing about this story. I am so sick of hearing everything is aout race,sick of hearing that he had no right to ask her to put her ciggarette out.Cops ALL OVER THE WORLD ask people to put their ciggarettes out when being stopped .They do that for their protection.The other thing is even now hearing videos of her saying she was depressed NOONE including her family want to believe it even though before her being stopped she had disappeared again for 2 weeks no contact with anyone.She breaks laws but she does not believe she should be pulled over.There are 2 people on a certain worldwide channel that do a disservice to people by the way they report and talk about this.I even told the station it is irresponsible to let the lady get on tv and spew whatever she wants and if people listen to her like they listen to the new black panthers more people are going to get killed.When you get pulled over or stopped by a cop COMPLY don't mouth off or act crazy cops pull ALL colors of people over daily and it does not amount to ANYTHING. The fact she was trying to contact family and friends for 3 days and got NO response from ANYONE tells me either they have been through it before and did not want to deal with her issues anymore or they did not care to go to the jail to vist her .I feel they want to throw blame elsewhere because of what they themselves did not do to help her.People need to realize most people do not blast to people that they have been diagnosed with a mental illness and just because friends and family dont know doesn't make it that she has no mental illness

Shelley Matz said...

I had no clue she was unstable. Being a cutter in itself speaks volumes.

Same issues with the media again not telling the whole story.

I felt the cop may have been a lil over frustrated but I have been pulled over and I sat there and was polite.

She clearly was trying to cause problems and to me came across a lil crazy.

She wanted a confrontation and she got just that.

Interesting how black people always make it about race yet none of them seem to care about anything outside that.

I am not racist in any way and get tired of hearing it.

Sure it happens, but it's not the norm.

But people do try to instigate issues. I am a recruiter and sent out a simple list of screening questions to all the applicants that applied for one of my positions. They were direct questions about the job requirements only.

One applicant choose to reply rudely saying I could just read his resume despite the fact some of the requirements were things that none of the applicants would clearly list and then adds on "and by the way, I am 61 years old. Since you will find a reason not to hire me I just gave you a reason".

Just like that. His age was never asked.

I responded that his age was not a factor and was not asked. He was again rude so I simply stopped responding.

2 days later he decided to send in a formal complaint stating that I clearly had issues with older job seekers and should be talked to. To me the fact that I had solid proof he was alone in his issues, I was shocked that he would take the time to attempt to complain.

Needless to say my boss knows me and the email was clear...but just the fall to try to claim discrimination when it never happened.

Anonymous said...

she may have succumbed to a subdural hematoma resulting from her head hitting concrete at take down during stop, same thing that killed Natasha Richardson.
Guards found her and panicked, staging "suicide"

elaines630 said...

1. Freddie Gray - Cops need to properly secure and provide medical attention to people held in custody regardless of what they are charged with (properly or not). Those cops showed a total lack of disregard for his safety and health.

2. Cops need to have a thick skin and not get frustrated. If they can't do that, then they need to do something else. People are assholes all over and if you want to do your job right you just gotta deal with it and follow the law. The whole confrontation happened at the END of the traffic stop. He was getting her to sign the ticket. If he wouldn't have overreacted no one would have even heard about this.

3. Her previous suicide attempt was after a miscarriage. While I'm not saying whether I think she was or wasn't suicidal (how would anyone who wasn't there know?) over being arrested, it's hard for me to equate the feelings of having a miscarriage to being arrested.

Pat Brown said...

anon 5:36

There were no signs of injury during the autopsy. Please stop with these ridiculous scenarios.

Pat Brown said...


1) Freddie Gray has likely complained EVERY time he has been arrested. These guys constantly claim: the handcuffs are too tight, you are breaking my arm, you hit my head, I can't breathe...it is crying wolf and if this is there constant experience with Gray, it is his fault. Now, generally speaking, they will take someone to the hospital if they demand it and they will take him if they feel there is truly a problem. Cops do NOT want people they arrest to die on them in custody...it rather ruins their day and sometimes their careers. There is a question over proper securing in the vehicle but this has NOTHING to do with racism or intentional homicide, NOTHING>

2). Read my follow up post today on being stopped by a cop. The police officer was not in the wrong. He had reasons for his requests and orders. Sandra Bland escalated the situation. She had broken the law twice - blew the stop sign and changed lanes without a signal - and the cop was questioning if there was something more considering her belligerent attitude. Finally, some cops ARE just assholes but this has zero to do with racism or Sandra Bland's death in custody.

3. Sandra Bland committed suicide. She had emotional issues. These are two FACTS that have nothing to do with racism.

Pat Brown said...


Not all blacks make it about race any more than Hispanics always make it about being Hispanic or women always make it about being women. Real prejudice exists and these are issues we should ALL consider and work to improve. However, this particular issue got legs and now it is unfortunate that racism and police brutality are being applied to cases where neither exist. I find this frustrating because it takes away focus from the issue when it IS true and other issues as well and making thugs into heroes is appalling. Furthermore, police are now being jeopardized to the point where I can't blame anyone for not wanting to join the force anymore and this means a reduced police force or a police force with vacancies being filled by less qualified candidates and even possibly more with psych issues. Too many people are seeing the police as THEM instead of US. We have a pretty decent police force in the US (if you compare to other countries) that is amazingly polite and professional. You still get a jerk now and then and you get a psycho now and then or a police officer having a bad day, but all in all, police departments do work to have professional officers on the beat. I have been on ridealongs with them and I can testify to their professionalism which, if you ever saw what they have to deal with on a daily basis, is quite amazing.

Emily said...

Thank GOD you posted this, Pat! Took the words right out of my mouth! Everything is NOT racism, and EVERYONE knows, when a cop tells you to do something, you do it. You don't argue with them or refuse to do it. What did she think would happen? He told her to step out of the car, she said "NO", did she think his response would be, "Okay, just stay in the car then"? You really nailed this one, PERFECTLY! I'm glad you posted, you couldn't be more accurate on everything!