U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has spoken out on the controversial death of activist Sandra Bland. In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Lynch used Bland’s tragic death as a talking point during the topic of police training tactics.
“I do think that what has been an important part of the debate in Ms. Bland’s death has been the discussions that we have seen from community members and police leaders alike about the importance of training and deescalating incidents,” Lynch said.
“Many people see this situation escalating, and I think it shows the frustration that many minority communities feel when they feel that, you know, maybe it wouldn’t have escalated in a different community,” Loretta said. “I hope that-that can bring this situation to light as well, so that people understand the frustration that many minority members feel when they’re stopped by the police.”
Since Lynch was confirmed in April, she has advocated for police reform, including universal police body cams and a reevaluation of police training programs.
“Many of the things that we see police departments doing across the country, frankly, is working on exactly the type of techniques that would have been helpful here,” she said. “As part of my community policing tour, I’ve talked to officers who have said one of the things that they have appreciate most is training in de-escalation tactics to sort of get away from the classic ‘let’s just stop and arrest’ or ‘chase and arrest’ and figure out how we can calm a situation down.”
Illinois Congressman Bill Foster sent a letter to Lynch asking for a federal investigation into Sandra’s death. Bland’s family members and friends echo that request. Lynch has not commented on whether not she would call for an investigation by the Department of Justice.
Police dash cam footage, as well as a bystander’s video, shows Officer Brian Encinia violently arresting Sandra Bland three days before she died inside a Texas jail. Lynch said that the footage highlights minorities’ fears the police.
Watch her interview below:
(Photo Source: AP/Video Source: MSNBC)