Sandra Bland died, according to former cop and CNN contributor Harry Houck, because she was “arrogant from the beginning.” Whether police did or did not murder Bland while she was in custody, there’s no question that she was only in custody because she failed to show the arresting officer the kind of deference he expected–he gave her orders, and when she did not comply, he used his power to bully her.
This is in line with the philosophy Los Angeles police officer Sunil Dutta shared with the Washington Post just after Mike Brown was murdered:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.
In November I posted a comic about how police hold themselves to the same standard as grizzly bears. That’s still the case, sadly, but police are also are adopting the philosophy of the criminals they are supposed to stop: “I have the gun, so obey me or die.”