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Dashcam video disputes cops’ claim that black activist Sandra Bland attacked Texas trooper: pastor

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The Texas state trooper who stopped Sandra Bland was apparently planning to let her off with a written warning until he became angry when she refused to put out the cigarette she was smoking in her car.

The 28-year-old Bland, a civil rights activist who was on her way to begin a job at the historically black Prairie View A&M, died July 13 in a Waller County jail cell after she was arrested during a traffic stop for an improper lane change.

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An attorney for her family viewed dashboard camera footage of the traffic stop, and he said the state trooper returned to Bland’s car with what appeared to be a written warning, reported NBC News.

Bland, who seemed irritated that she had been pulled over, questioned why she should put out the cigarette, and the trooper became angry and ordered her out of the car, the attorney said.

The trooper attempted to open Bland’s car door, and she grabbed a cell phone to record the encounter.

The attorney, Cannon Lambert, said he didn’t understand why Bland should have been required to leave her car during the routine traffic stop.

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Police claimed that Bland was “argumentative and uncooperative” during the encounter and assaulted the trooper, who has been placed on administrative leave, but the attorney said dashboard camera does not show the attack.

“We have new footage that has been released and in that video cam that has been released there is not one shot, not one scene of where Ms. Bland ever assaulted police,” said Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore.

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A bystander recorded video that shows Bland complain that the trooper slammed her head into the ground.

Bland was taken to jail after her arrest, and authorities said she was found hanging from a trash bag three days later in her jail cell.

Her death was ruled a suicide, but an independent autopsy was performed Sunday at the family’s request, and those results will be released Tuesday.

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The Texas Commission on Jail Standards faulted the Waller County Jail for insufficient training and failure to conduct hourly face-to-face checks.

The Sheriff’s Office said the two jailers involved had received mental health training, but not in at least a year, and used an intercom system to check on Bland instead of going to her cell.

The dashboard camera video has not yet been publicly released.

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Watch an interview with the family attorney posted online by NBC News:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia training exercises at ‘The Base’: report

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One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

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Oklahoma police searching for man who shot Taco Bell employee in dispute over the drive-thru

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Police are searching for a man who allegedly shot a Taco Bell employee early Saturday morning.

"The employee was shot in the leg after asking the customer to pull forward in the drive-thru," KFOR-TV reported Saturday. "The customer argued, but eventually pulled forward, and that’s when he pulled out a gun and shot the employee."

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Dick Cheney raising money for Trump’s re-election — with White House staffers Ivanka and Jared: report

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney is raising money for President Donald Trump's re-election at a fundraiser in a ritzy western resort town.

"Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), are to appear at a lunch fundraiser Monday in support of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an invitation to the event," The Washington Post reported Saturday. "The luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo., will feature White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as 'special guests,' according to the invitation, which was obtained by The Washington Post."

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