On Monday morning’s Fox and Friends, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck suggested that the Texas state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland wanted her to put out her cigarette because she might use it as a weapon.
Media Matters reported that Hasselbeck was speaking to former New York Police Department officer John Rafferty about the dashcam footage of Bland’s arrest on July 10.
Rafferty said that Trooper Brian Encinia was placed on administrative duty by his department. They acknowledged that the officer stepped over the line in his violent arrest of Bland, who had merely changed lanes without using a signal.
“It appears, looking at this, because she didn’t put out the cigarette next thing he knows, he’s asking the person to step out of the vehicle,” Rafferty said about Encinia. “You can’t take it personal. It’s the job.”
“But, what if, I mean, there are times, I’m sure, someone has, in the history of this land, used a cigarette against a police officer,” said Hasselbeck, “maybe chucked it at him, pushed it at him.”
“Absolutely,” said Rafferty.
“If he indeed felt it could be a potential threat, was that the wise thing to do?” she went on.
“I think because you know, you have to know you’re being recorded — you have to say, ‘Listen I need you to step out to sign this warning,'” said Rafferty. “I wouldn’t want somebody stepping out with a cigarette. I mean, I’ve had a cigarette tried to be — I’ve had somebody try to put a cigarette out on me. It happens. I guarantee, you speak to many cops out there. But the way you say it, unfortunately you’re locked into it. Because now, it’s being recorded. Unfortunately, these officers have to remember that.”
Watch the video, embedded below via Media Matters: