The “Black” Woman’s Mouth and Sandra Bland.

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( First of all, let me say the recent death of Sandra Bland in Texas was a tragedy that did not need to happen and my prayers are with her family. That being said, as a former detective, I have viewed the video confrontation between Bland and the Texas State Trooper. Here are the facts. Bland was irate and confrontational with the State Trooper when he was only about to give her a warning for failure to put on her signal before a lane change. Bland was non-compliant, even though she was asked to comply several times. This time, unfortunately, an African American woman had too much mouth with the wrong person and at the wrong time. I probably would have pepper sprayed her when she failed to comply with the instructions or done just as the State Trooper did. This time we cannot blame the Texas State Trooper. The incident was caught on video and can be seen at the link below:   

Now more information has come out so let me put the pieces together based on my experience. First of all, I have seen the 52 minute unaltered video and the other video made by an African American young man which shows what did not appear on the trooper’s dashcam. Sandra Bland continued to run her mouth with profane, repulsive language even after the female officer arrived. Then she continued to be obscene as she was placed in the female officer’s patrol car. Bland may not have known that each use of profane or obscene language was grounds for which she could be arrested. Below is the law in Texas. It may be harsh, but it’s the law. And while Bland thought she knew her rights, she didn’t. Violation of the code below is a Class C misdemeanor, therefore in Texas it is a crime.




Sec. 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:

(1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace;

Here is the law in Texas for resisting arrest. Notice below in section (a) that Texas law does in fact allow the officer to arrest or search a person. Saying you know your rights does not stop the officer if he/she has found probable cause (including smelling an unlawful substance).If the officer finds “probable cause”, he/she does not sandra_bland-2015need a warrant in order to take action. Sandra Bland was told to get out of her car over 7 times. She did not comply, she fought with the officer and therefore she resisted under Texas law. We may not think it is fair, but it is the law in Texas. And as shown in section B below, in Texas, the citizen cannot resist even if the search or arrest is unlawful. Wow. See the Texas code below.

TEX PE. CODE ANN. § 38.03 : Texas Statutes – Section 38.03: RESISTING ARREST, SEARCH, OR TRANSPORTATION                  

Note: underlined sections are by me

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally prevents or obstructs a person he knows is a peace officer or a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction from effecting an arrest, search, or transportation of the actor or another by using force against the peace officer or another.(b) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the arrest or search was unlawful.(c) Except as provided in Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.(d) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the actor uses a deadly weapon to resist the arrest or search. – See more at:

What about the cigarette and can you smoke in your car? It goes deeper than that. The toxicology report shows Sandra Bland had marijuana in her system. And if it was street weed, it was likely laced with rat poison (arsenic), embalming fluid and a number of other lethal ingredients. That might account for the odd behavior from Bland which was referenced by the trooper when he went to the passenger side window and again when he went to the driver side window. If she had just smoked marijuana, that would explain why she did want to put out her cigarette. She would have been masking the scent of the marijuana. I have a hunch that the trooper got a whiff of the marijuana smell and thus asked her politely to put out her cigarette. If he smelled the masked marijuana, he would not have told her what he was doing or why.

Texas laws on marijuana are very tough. Sandra Bland had only been in town a day and she was about to start a new job a few days later. Because of Texas law, she could not afford to be arrested for marijuana. Look at the law below regarding Texas laws on marijuana. Maybe, just may, she knew that. If so, it would certainly account for her behavior which the trooper asked about twice. Even less than 2 ounces in Texas can carry a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Code Section Health & Safety §481.032, et seq. Possession Under 2 oz.: Class B misdemeanor; 2-4 oz.: Class A misdemeanor; 4 oz. to 5 lbs.: State jail felony; 5-50 lbs.: 3rd degree felony; 50-2000 lbs.: 2nd degree felony; Over 2000 lbs.: Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice institution for life or 5-99 yrs. and $50,000

Unfortunately Sandra Bland could have been charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault on a law enforcement officer. Then, when the female officer arrived and Bland continued to be irate, the female officer could have piled on more charges just to make things ugly. The tape recorded by the bystander could have been used as evidence by a prosecutor. I do not think Sandra Bland knew all of that. If she was innocent, the case would not have been tried on the street that day, but rather in court. Meanwhile she would have set in jail. I say again, do not say you know your rights if you do not actually know them.

I use this tragedy to illustrate a point about the mouth of most African American women. Condescending, confrontational, ambivalent, vile, negative and full of animosity are words that come to mind to describe the mouth of many of our women (not all of them). Our people seem not to want to address this issue. Instead too many would rather make excuses for “why her mouth has to be that way”. But when I hear the vile and repulsive mouth of a sister who cannot control her words, I hear the same tone as the slave master putting down the African American man all the while making excuses as he does it. A vile, negative, profane and condescending mouth does nobody any good and its illegal.

Ladies we African American men are tired of a mouth that tears down instead of building up. Correction is fine but it is how you do it and the words you use that make all the difference. Ladies do you want to be heard or just to tear down the man you say you care about? Guys if you are allowing a woman to speak to you in the wrong way, stop it and get a spine. And guys, speak to her with respect, honoring her and listening to her thoughts and opinions. So ladies, as a family and relationship counselor, I must say verbal and emotional abuse are ABUSE just like physical abuse. In fact, words cut deep and leave a lasting negative impact that is not soon forgotten. The African American man has been put down enough. Correct us, yes, but by building us up – not tearing us down. And ladies, in some states like Georgia, verbal abuse is literally against the law (reference Oprobrious Language: Fighting Words).

Before some of you say that I am scarred, I need to let you know that I am married to a sister who can control her mouth. She is a strong woman who expresses her opinion on anything and I want to hear it on everything. I value her opinion, especially when she disagrees with me. She knows to speak to me the way she would like to be spoken to and so do I. Yes she may get irritable or frustrated like any woman (or man) does, but she honors me, she respects me and she reflects that in how she communicates with me. I thank God for her because I know I am blessed.

Years ago Shahrazad Ali wrote a book entitled The Blackman’s Guide to Understanding The Black woman wherein she expressed that the “black” woman was less supportive of the “black” man than any other race or group on the planet. Instead of being honest about such a claim and asking why, a great many African American women simply dismissed her claim. I agree with her generally but of course that does not describe all “black” women. Yet it does describe far too many of our women. There is no excuses for an abusive mouth. Ladies, if you say it’s the man’s fault, didn’t you choose that man? And keep in mind that I am even harder on men because we are the leaders who must set the example. Read my other articles on this site such as What’s Wrong With The African American Man and you will see that my perspective is both objective and balanced. And ladies, before you point the finger at the man, know that doing so will not absolve you of accountability for your mouth.

Guys if you are with a verbally or emotionally abusive woman, draw a line in the sand. Refuse to be treated that way or spoken to in that manner. People only do to us what we allow to be done to us. And you cannot “act the fool” with her. If you do, there are two fools and no effective communication will ever come forth to accomplish anything. Guys be the example and don’t make things worse by acting the same way. Sit down and tell her what you will not accept. Go to a counselor or mediator. Attempt to identify the source of the anger that fuels her vicious mouth. Sometimes it is bi-polar disorder, hormone imbalance or past relationships.

Ladies, find an outlet, a way to vent your anger or frustration without taking it out on the man you say you care about. No more excuses. What are you teaching your children when you use words like weapons? And sometimes the best policy is to say something nice(or at least in the right way) or not to say anything at all. I do not know if Sandra Bland committed suicide, but I can say that her irrational and unnecessary confrontational mouth made matters a whole lot worse in a traffic stop where someone was not going to accept her behavior. We all can, should and must learn from that.

If the police ask you to do something, even if you feel they are wrong, just do your best to comply and handle it legally later. You will not likely be able to overcome the officer (even if he/she is wrong). And you may incur more charges or injury by fighting or resisting (even if the officer is wrong). When stopped by an officer (a good or bad one), your objective MUST always be to walk out of the encounter with little or no charges and with no injuries. Never forget that, regardless of your feelings, ego or hormones, and it will guide your actions in the encounter.

Staff Writer; Marque-Anthony