‘Selma’ Director, Who Knows A Thing Or Two About Video Editing, Says Bland Arrest Video Was Doctored


If Ava DuVernay, who directed the Oscar-nominated movie about the Civil Rights Movement, Selma, is correct, things could be getting worse for Texas state police. DuVernay makes a very convincing claim that the dashboard video showing Sandra Bland’s arrest was doctored.

Bland, at 28-years-old, was from Illinois but had just moved to Texas to start a new job. She was pulled over for a traffic signal violation and ultimately arrested. She ended up dying in jail and the police called it suicide. There is dash cam video of the arrest. The entire video is over 52 minutes long and it shows the Trooper Brian Encinia becoming belligerent over Bland’s refusal to put out a cigarette. He is seen pulling her out of her car and threatening to “light (her) up” with a taser. Here it is:

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That video is bad enough, but here’s what DuVernay tweeted about it:

She also posted a link from writer and journalist Ben Norton, who said the same thing. There are several edited parts, according to Norton.

A man leaves the truck in the center of the frame at 25:05. For the next 15 seconds, he walks toward the right of the frame and leaves. At 25:19, he suddenly appears again, promptly disappears, then returns at 25:22. The same footage of him walking is subsequently repeated.

There are also cars that disappear suddenly, then just as suddenly, reappear. There are several loops, where they repeat the footage. After watching Norton’s videos, it’s easy even for a video editing novice to see that it was edited. Here are his videos:

For much of the video, Encinia was out of the picture. We may never know what was happening during those edited frames and while we couldn’t see him.

Featured image via CNN video screen capture

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