A viable theory was proposed by Paul Spector, who has beaucoup respectable professional credentials, and he’s not the only one who thought of it. He suspects that events were set into motion before Sandra Bland and Trooper Encinia actually met. In other words, I’m not the lone paranoid nutcase here.
Many interested people take it for granted that someone accessed Sandra’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, which expressed her thoughts clearly. Or maybe it was her YouTube channel that influenced someone to single her out for abuse.
In a little burg like Prairie View,Texas, cruising LEOs probably look up information on lots of drivers. It would not be at all surprising to learn that as soon as Sandra rolled into town, she was identified as an activist, and was given special attention from that moment on. Three months after her death, a radio personality from out of state was in Prairie View with friends, headed for the Homecoming football game. They were stopped by a police officer who clearly stated, “We been watching you since you got here.”
Sandra was what the trolls call a shit-stirrer, and when this particular nuisance of a woman appeared on the scene, it’s quite possible that someone made a decision. Give her a little taste of Waller County justice, maybe scare her back to where she came from. Or maybe just intimidate her enough to guarantee docile behavior, going forward.
The future is here
Gone are the quaint old days when all we had to worry about was an FBI dossier earned by subscribing to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee newsletter. Now, any agency can know everything about anybody, and pass the knowledge on at a moment’s notice to any other bureaucracy that might be interested. It happens thanks to technology (databases, systems and networks) and the National Network of Fusion Centers, which was designed to operate at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels. Their Fact Sheet says:
Fusion centers provide interdisciplinary expertise and situational awareness to inform decision-making at all levels of government. They conduct analysis and facilitate information sharing while assisting law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism.
Fusion centers are owned and operated by state and local entities with support from federal partners in the form of deployed personnel, training, technical assistance, exercise support, security clearances, connectivity to federal systems, technology, and grant funding.
As a thought experiment, let’s give the Prairie View fuzz the benefit of the doubt, and assume that Sandra was not pre-profiled, and that her encounter with Encinia was only a random twist of fate. They talked a bit and he retired to his cruiser to do research. Four and a half minutes does not sound like a long time, but sit through those minutes of the traffic stop video, and just get a sense of how many screens of information entered his eyeballs during that interval.
No doubt Encinia is a slow reader, but even so, the break he took in his car would have been plenty long enough to call up the data and comprehend that he had met with a designated victim.
What might the trooper have learned from a quick online search? For The Nation, Debbie Nathan explored Sandra’s social media presence. Encinia might have seen her Facebook confession: “Walked into the house to a sink full of dishes. So I smashed a few plates (literally) to make myself feel better.” It’s very easy to form an unfavorable impression of someone from just a few lines of their dialogue.
It got worse. Apparently Sandra suggested that white people make black friends, and vice versa. Is there a proposition that a white supremacist cop would less want to hear? He might have seen her online project, Sandy Speaks. She videoed herself saying, “It’s time for me to do God’s work,” and “I’m here to change history.” It can safely be assumed that the Prairie View police force did not favor change of any kind, historical or otherwise, in its neck of the woods.
AT FIRST THEY USED A NOOSE. NOW ALL THEY DO IS SHOOT.
She posted an image of a young black man in close-up, his neck encircled by an American flag, knotted so as to kill him by hanging. She made the noose image her profile picture.
It’s not obvious which flag/noose meme was Sandra’s choice. The theme resonates with more than one artist. Moise Morancy specializes in it. Nate Parker used it in the poster created for his film “The Birth of a Nation.”
“Black Man in America” is a limited edition print by Laurie Cooper.
“Lil brown boy” is a painting by Demar Douglas.
Encinia would probably have learned, if not from social media, then from other sources, that Sandra Bland had a friend and mentor in Prairie View, a counselor with whom she had worked. Who knows what other connections she had from her student days? What if the local cops just happened to not like one of her friends? This would not be a good introduction to a town, and incidentally, it could happen to anyone. White privilege might save some from the consequences of what’s in the computer, but it’s all in there.
Crime writer Garry Rodgers has compiled a thorough report on just exactly how totally identified a person can be within minutes. The paragraph headed RISC is interesting. Was Sandra Bland an Individual of Special Concern?
Just like everybody else?
Or maybe Sandra wasn’t personally chosen, but only targeted to the same extent as any other resident or student in the black-majority town of Prairie View. As in so many other pestilential no-justice hellholes (like Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown was shot) law enforcement pays its salary by shaking down the citizens. For the whole story of for-profit policing in Texas, see Debbie Nathan’s “The Real Reason Sandra Bland Got Locked Up.”
According to the Fusion Center Guidelines,
The ultimate goal is to provide a mechanism through which government, law enforcement, public safety, and the private sector can come together with a common purpose and improve the ability to safeguard our homeland and prevent criminal activity.
Ever since Minority Report, cops are all about the art and science of preventing crime by reading people’s minds and predicting whether they might possibly do something illegal some day. The fuzz perceive themselves as Merlin-like magicians, who draw upon their immense experience and unparalleled sagacity (and the vast cyber-resources of many networked agencies) and pronounce judgment on people in advance, which according to its Latin roots is the very definition of prejudice.
Cops believe they are qualified to preemptively deal with future problems by removing certain pre-criminals from society and/or life. Trooper Encinia stopped Sandra for neglecting to hit her blinker light and then, magician-like, he turned failure to signal into a capital crime.
The Real Reason Sandra Bland Got Locked Up
What Happened to Sandra Bland?