A Texas state representative plans to hold a hearing after new cellphone footage reveals what Sandra Bland saw during a 2015 traffic stop when a state trooper pointed a Taser at her.
Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston said Tuesday he plans to ask officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the state Attorney General's office to testify before the House Committee on County Affairs.
Coleman introduced the Sandra Bland Act, which requires county jails to send people with mental health issues into treatment.
He said the committee "intends to continue our work on Ms. Bland's case and the new revelations."
Bland was arrested after a state trooper claimed he feared for his life during a July 2015 traffic stop. But Bland's family believes new footage on her cellphone contradicts the trooper's claims.
Bland, 28, was found dead three days later in her Waller County jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Until Monday, the trooper's dashcam footage was believed to be the only full recording of the encounter.
Investigators never publicly released a 39-second video Bland recorded with her cellphone. The video captures DPS Trooper Brian Encinia pointing his Taser at Bland and yelling, "I will light you up!"
Bland's family calls for Texas officials to re-examine the criminal case against the trooper in light of the cellphone footage. The family and their lawyer said they had never seen the video before.
The video was publicly released as part of a WFAA exclusive in partnership with the Investigative Network.
"It's troubling that a crucial piece of evidence was withheld from Sandra Bland's family and legal team in their pursuit for justice," Coleman said in a written statement.
Other politicians echoed Coleman's sentiments Tuesday, including presidential hopefuls Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro.
Encinia pulled over Bland for failing to use her turn signal when she changed lanes July 10, 2015, near the Prairie View A&M University campus. The trooper asked Bland to put out a cigarette she was smoking. After she refused, Encinia opened her car door and threatened to drag her out.
After her arrest, Encinia told authorities that he feared for his life and didn't know what Bland could grab inside her car and purse.
Encinia was later fired by DPS and indicted by a grand jury, a charge that was dropped when he gave up his license and agreed to never work as a cop again.
Bland's family received evidence in Bland's death and arrest after they filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit but had to return it all after they reached a $1.9 million settlement with Waller County and Texas DPS in 2016.
DPS officials said they turned over all the evidence to the family though the family says the cellphone footage was not included in what they received.
Houston-area Rep. Shawn Thierry said Tuesday she questions whether all the evidence had been turned over.
"Typically all evidence that is deemed relevant comes out at the time so we'll have to look further into why this was withheld," Thierry said of the cellphone video.
She said the Sandra Bland Act has helped improve law enforcement interactions but officers still need to undergo more de-escalation training. Thierry said there was no reason for the trooper to point his Taser at Bland the way he did.
"I can't think of any circumstance where that would be appropriate, an officer pointing a Taser when she clearly just had her phone in her hand," she said. "That kind of cancels the argument that he felt threatened."