Preacher says Texas cops strong-armed elderly Sandra Bland protester for taking a picture
A Texas United Methodist Church pastor protesting in support of Sandra Bland said on Wednesday that officials in Waller County harassed an elderly man for taking a picture inside the local courthouse.
“They told us that they had taken his drivers’ license and let him know that if he had any tickets or anything, that they were gonna put him in jail, when he had a clean license,” Hannah Adair Bonner said in a video posted on her Facebook page. “They released him [and] when he came upstairs I came up to him, and he said he needed to leave.”
Bonner said that the unidentified man was standing with her and other demonstrators in a hallway on the building’s third floor when he took the picture. The pastor said that she had taken pictures inside the building before and never received more than a verbal warning to stop.
But in this case, she said, an officer she identified as “Rutledge” pulled the man into an elevator and took him downstairs before leading him out through a side entrance. Officers then blocked Bonner and other demonstrators when they tried to follow the altercation outside.
The man later told her that the officer took him into a side room, where he was threatened. Bonner then sent a message of her own to the department, saying that she obtained contact information for not only the elderly man, but several of his relatives, and intended to follow up with him.
“I want you to know, if you touch a hair on that gentleman’s head, we will be there because we do not leave a man behind,” she said, before adding, “Sandy still speaks,” a tag she has used on Twitter during her protests.
Bonner has taken part in an ongoing protests outside the local courthouse since Bland died last July following her arrest. Last August, she posted video of Sheriff R. Glenn Smith telling her to “go back to the church of Satan” when she asked for his business card. Smith later took pictures of her license plate information and threatened to “do something” with it.
Brian Encinia, the state trooper who originally arrested Bland, will be fired after being indicted on Wednesday for lying in his report of the incident.
Watch Bonner’s video, as posted online on Wednesday, below.
SHARE Make this go viral. Day 176 – intimidation of local, elderly gentlemen. Do not touch a hair on his head. We will be watching. #SayHerName #SandraBland #JusticeForSandraBland #sandySTILLspeaks
Posted by Hannah Adair Bonner on Wednesday, 6 January 2016