A new, seemingly unaltered version of dash-cam footage of the arrest of Sandra Bland by a Texas trooper was released on 22 July, a day after the release of the original video, prompting growing speculation that it was edited.
The newly released footage is around three minutes shorter than the original, reported the Los Angeles Times. It appeared to be missing two key glitches, which had led to the speculation of editing. The footage was recorded by the dash-cam of a highway trooper who pulled Bland over on 10 July due to a failure to signal a lane change.
According to ABC News, the arrest video shows how the routine traffic stop escalates to a verbal argument and later to a physical altercation.
The original 52-minute dash-cam video was released on 21 July on YouTube by the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin.
However, viewers quickly noticed that footage was either missing or was repeated at minutes 25 and 33. Social media lighted up with speculation when it noted two moments in which a vehicle appears entering the field of view twice in rapid succession before disappearing completely.
The LA Times reported that the new video, at just over 49 minutes long, shows a continuous record of the arrest in the small Texas town of Prairie View by Officer Brian T Encinia. The video also records Encina telling Bland he will "light you up" when she refuses to put out a cigarette and get out of her car.
Later, Bland is heard saying the officer "just slammed my head to the ground."
Tom Vinger, press secretary for the Texas Department of Public Safety, released a statement to reporters on 22 July blaming the original glitches on technology.
"Yesterday's video was not edited. The entire video was uploaded Tuesday to include the audio and video of the conversation the trooper had by telephone with his sergeant, which occurred after the arrest. Some of the video was affected in the upload. That technical issue has now been resolved," Vinger said.
Bland's death three days later in her Waller County jail cell has prompted scrutiny by her friends and family. While officials have ruled the 28-year-old's death a suicide, her family argues she would never take her own life.
Authorities in Texas have also released a video showing the last hours Bland spent at Waller County jail before her death. Vinger said that his agency had asked the FBI to verify the videos's integrity.
The FBI has stated it is currently reviewing the case. "We are coordinating with all of the involved agencies. At this time, we are monitoring the ongoing local investigation. Once the local process takes its course, the FBI will review all of the evidence to determine if any federal criminal laws may have been violated," a statement from the FBI's Houston Division said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has promised that the case will be investigated, the LA Times reported.
"Our hearts and prayers remain with the Bland family for their tragic loss. The family deserves answers. The Texas Rangers, working in coordination with the FBI, will conduct a full and thorough investigation that will deliver those answers and work toward the ultimate goal of ensuring justice in this case," he said.