New video in Sandra Bland's case brings more questions than answers for her family

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Sharon Cooper, the sister of Sandra Bland, speaks to CNN's Don Lemon following the release of new video from Bland's vantage point during the 2015 traffic stop that led to her arrest.

Posted: May 8, 2019 8:10 AM
Updated: May 8, 2019 8:10 AM

The release of cell phone video taken by Sandra Bland almost four years after her death and nearly two years after the trial for the trooper who arrested Bland makes her sister question what the police have told their family.

Speaking with CNN's Don Lemon Tuesday, Bland's sister Sharon Cooper said the lack of transparency from investigators throughout this process has been an issue.

"The revelation of this video existing to us and it not being revealed to us throughout the duration of the case at all, what that does is that puts our trust in them and their credibility on shaky ground with regard to taking what they share with us at face value," Cooper said.

Cannon Lambert, the attorney for Bland's family in their federal civil rights lawsuit, said the existence of the video only strengthens his belief that Texas state trooper Brian Encinia had no basis to fear for his safety.

Encinia was indicted on a perjury charge and fired in 2016 after a grand jury said it didn't believe his statement that he removed her from the car so he could conduct a safer traffic investigation. But it was dismissed in June 2017 after he agreed to surrender his law enforcement license.

Lambert says that because this video was concealed, opportunities to hold Encinia accountable were missed.

Cooper said although the family wants the case reopened she's not sure they'll ever get justice.

"I think what the special prosecutor stripped us of at the time...to drop the charges against Brian Encinia," Cooper said.

Cooper emphasized that although she doesn't think her family will get an opportunity for fairness in this case it's important to keep Bland's legacy alive and advocate for black women and girls who have suffered police brutality.

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