Sandra Bland

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Jacksonville’s former FBI chief believes de-escalation training for law enforcement is important in preventing conflict between officers and community members.

Toni Chrabot, recently-retired FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Jacksonville, says when officers know how to de-escalate high-pressure situations, violent incidents are less likely to occur.

Chrabot has provided training services for other FBI agents and the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Sunday said the death of Sandra Bland, who officials say committed suicide in her Texas jail cell after she was detained following a routine traffic stop, shows the importance of training police officers to de-escalate high-pressure situations. We speak with Toni Chrabot, recently-retired FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge out of Jacksonville, who trained agencies in de-escalation procedures.


Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Sunday night dozens of people gathered in Hemming Park. An African American woman held a sign reading “Say Her Name.” Another woman held a sign saying, “I’m white and I get it.”

They were at a vigil for Sandra Bland, an African American woman arrested in Texas during a routine traffic stop, that quickly escalated.     

A video of the stop went viral, causing many to question the way the officer treated Bland and then why she was found dead in her jail cell.

Releasing details — and photographs — from the autopsy of Sandra Bland, officials in Waller County, Texas, say that the cause of death for Bland, a black woman who died in the county's jail, was suicide by hanging. Officials also say she had marijuana in her system.

The case has drawn national scrutiny as Bland, who had driven to Texas from Illinois, died in police custody three days after she was pulled over by a state trooper for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. She was 28.