Midday Roundup: Video of African-American woman's arrest raises questions

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 7/22/15, 12:15 pm

Battle of wills. The Texas Department of Public Safety says a dashcam video of a controversial arrest was not edited and that apparent skipping in the video comes from a technical glitch. The video shows the screaming match and struggle that led to the arrest of Sandra Bland, who was discovered dead in her jail cell earlier this month. Trooper Brian Encinia stopped Bland for failing to signal a lane change. After issuing her a warning, the officer remarked that Bland seemed irritated. She responded she had changed lanes to make way for Encinia’s vehicle. Bland refused the trooper’s commands to put out her cigarette and get out of her vehicle. Then he pulled out a stun gun and said, “I will light you up.” A few days after her arrest, she was found hanging in a jail cell from a black plastic garbage bag. Encinia, who has been on the force for just over a year, has been placed on administrative leave. “Regardless of the situation—it doesn’t matter where it happens—a DPS state trooper has got an obligation to exhibit professionalism and be courteous … and that wasn’t the case in this situation,” said Steven McCraw, the department director. An investigation into Bland’s death is underway.

Bearing arms. Governors in seven states have signed orders allowing their National Guard troops to carry sidearms at recruiting centers and while performing other duties. Florida, Indiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin, made the change after last week’s shooting attack in Chattanooga that took the lives of four Marines and one sailor. “The action that we’ve taken is born of my heartfelt desire that those who defend our freedom can defend themselves when they are put in harm’s way,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said. At the federal level, the Pentagon has ordered modest security improvements at U.S. military recruiting centers.

Nuclear race. Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering ramping up its own nuclear program after last week’s agreement between Iran and world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear development. Critics say that deal delays but does not permanently prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. President Barack Obama said not having an agreement with Iran would encourage other nations in the region to advance their own nuclear weapons programs, but now that a deal is in place, the opposite seems to be happening.

Historic text. A doctoral student at the University of Birmingham in Britain discovered one of the oldest known manuscripts of the Quran tucked away in the school’s library. Alba Fedeli was studying a similar document and noticed a difference in writing on some of the pages. The university had the two parchment leaves carbon dated and discovered they were much older than the rest of the manuscript in which they had been improperly bound. “This means that the parts of the Quran that are written on this parchment can, with a degree of confidence, be dated to less than two decades after Muhammad’s death,” Professor David Thomas said.

WORLD Radio’s Kristen Eicher and Mary contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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