Elisabeth Hasselbeck came under fire this week after speculating that State Trooper Brian Encinia could have seen Sandra Bland’s lit cigarette as a possible threat.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck On Sandra Bland

Hasselbeck courted controversy Monday when she posited that the cigarette-armed Bland – who died while in police custody after being arrested following a traffic stop – could have legitimately inspired fear in the arresting officer.

“I’m sure, someone has, in the history of this land, used a cigarette against a police officer,” Hasselbeck said on Fox & Friends. By making the divisive statement, Hasselbeck seemed to be suggesting that Encinia was perfectly justified in forcibly removing Bland from her vehicle after she asked him why she had to put out her cigarette.

After the segment aired on Fox News, viewers took to Twitter to slam the former The View co-host.

New Sandra Bland Video

Hasselbeck’s comment came just before a new video released by Waller County, Texas officials dismissed theories that Bland was already deceased in her mugshot picture.

The video was released “because of the misinformation that has been put out – both through social media and even through mainstream media – that has led to the rumors that Sandra Bland was in some way deceased, or harmed, or not well when she was brought in to the Waller County Jail,” Judge Trey Duhon told reporters.

“It’s a bigger commentary on the age we live in, when information is demanded immediately, and if it’s not received, then people go to make up their own story,” he added.

Despite the new video, which seems to prove that Bland was not already dead when she was brought into the police station, questions still remain about the circumstances that led to her death. While the preliminary finding is that Bland committed suicide in her jail cell three days after her arrest and before family could post bail, an investigation into a possible homicide is ongoing.

Bland was arrested July 10 in Waller County, Tex., after allegedly failing to signal a lane change. A dashcam video shows the traffic stop in which Encinia grows increasingly aggravated with Bland, who felt that she was wrongfully pulled over. Encinia is heard threatening to use a taser on Bland before cuffing her and kneeling into her back, keeping her still on the ground.

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