Ava DuVernay, who directed the Oscar-nominated civil rights movement film Selma, suggested on Tuesday that the dashboard camera footage of Sandra Bland’s arrest earlier this month was altered.
“I edit footage for a living. But anyone can see that this official video has been cut,” DuVernay posted on Twitter, while linking to an article by journalist Ben Norton listing what appears to be discrepancies in the footage released earlier in the day by the Texas Department of Public Safety. DuVernay’s statement can be seen below:
Skepticism began mounting online shortly after the release of the 52-minute video, which shows the 28-year-old activist being pulled over by state trooper Brian Encinia.
“Someone clearly cut footage out and looped part of the video in order to correspond with the recorded audio of Texas state trooper Brian Encinia speaking,” Norton wrote. “Who exactly edited the footage is unknown, but the video was recorded by police and released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.”
For example, Norton stated, a man seen in the center of the frame at the 25:05 mark walks toward the right of the frame and off-camera, only to disappear, reappear and disappear again within a three-second period. The footage of him walking toward the right is then seen again.
Norton also said that there are several instances showing looped footage involving vehicles moving at the scene of Bland’s arrest. She was found dead in a Waller County jail cell three days after being arrested and charged with assault on a public servant.
DuVernay also posted footage from the arrest showing Bland asking, “Why are you arresting me?” and adding, “Because you know your rights,” and arguing that Encinia did so because no one would believe her. That post can be seen below:
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 22, 2015
The department’s video can be seen below...