The booking documents show that Bland told officials that she had epilepsy and that she was taking the anti-epileptic drug Keppra. But the documents also contain discrepancies. In another document, one that was to be filled out by the inmate and that contains Bland's signature, “No” is circled by the question asking if she's currently on any medication.
Smith said both jailers who spoke with Bland insisted that she appeared fine when being booked on a charge of assaulting a public servant. Authorities say she hanged herself using a plastic liner taken from a garbage can.
The death of Bland, who is black, comes amid increasing scrutiny across the nation over police treatment of African-Americans after police have been involved in the deaths of several unarmed black people including Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner. None of the officers involved in those cases have been charged.
In suburban Chicago, Bland's relatives held a news conference on Wednesday to discuss video of the arrest taken from the officer's dashcam, which shows him drawing a stun gun and threatening Bland when she refuses to follow his orders.
“I simply feel like the officer was picking on her. Point-blank, period. I personally think that it's petty,” Sharon Cooper, Bland’s sister, told reporters, adding that she thinks he got angry because “his ego was bruised.”
Bland's family also said she had not been not acting suicidal. Lambert, the family’s attorney, said Wednesday that Bland had just bought groceries and was ecstatic about her new job when she was pulled over. Lambert said the family had no indication that Bland was ever treated for epilepsy.
Her body was flown back to Chicago in preparation for a funeral on Saturday.
The video posted online Tuesday by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows the trooper, who is white, stopping Bland for failing to signal a lane change. After he hands her a written warning, the trooper remarks that Bland seems irritated. The Illinois woman replies that she is irritated because she had changed lanes to make way for the trooper's car.
The conversation quickly turns hostile when the officer asks Bland to put out her cigarette and she asks why she can't smoke in her own car. The trooper then orders Bland to get out of the vehicle. She refuses, and he tells her she is under arrest.
In response to questions about gaps and overlaps in the video, authorities said the footage was not edited or manipulated. Tom Vinger, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said glitches occurred in the video recording when it was uploaded for public viewing. He said the agency would repost the video.
The trooper, who has been on the force for just over a year, has been placed on administrative leave for violating unspecified police procedures. The agency would not address questions about whether the trooper acted appropriately by drawing his stun gun, or by trying to pull Bland out of the vehicle.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press