Hasselbeck under fire: Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Published: July 29, 2015
Hasselbeck under fire: Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Elisabeth Hasselbeck suggested that Sandra Bland could have used her lit cigarette as a weapon during the traffic stop in Texas that preceded her death.
Hasselbeck discussed the possible uses of a lit cigarette during a “Fox & Friends” segment with former New York City Police Department Officer John Rafferty on Fox News Monday. Police dashcam footage shows State Trooper Brian Encinia at the driver’s side of Bland’s car after pulling her over for not using a turn signal on July 10. Encinia asked Bland to put out her cigarette and then told her to get out of the car after she asked why.
“It appears, looking at this, because she didn’t put out the cigarette, next thing he knows, he’s asking the person to step out of the vehicle,” Rafferty said. “You can’t take it personal. It’s the job.”
“But what if … I mean, there are times, I’m sure, someone has, in the history of this land, used a cigarette against a police officer,” said Hasselbeck. “Maybe chucked it at him; pushed it at him. If he indeed felt it could be a potential threat, was that the wise thing to do on his part?”
Rafferty said officers need to remember how to best handle the situation, especially when it is being filmed.
Hasselbeck later tweeted that she never suggested anything.
“I NEVER suggested Sandra Bland could have used a cigarette as a weapon. I asked whether it was wise to ask her to put it out. #StopTheLies
– elisabeth hasselbeck (@ehasselbeck) July 28, 2015
Bland was handcuffed and brought to jail, where the 28-year-old Illinois native was charged with assaulting the officer. She was found dead in her jail cell three days later.
Many have since questioned the legality of Encinia’s actions and the circumstances surrounding her arrest and death, which was ruled a suicide by the Harris County medical examiner.
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