Edit: this post has raised a few questions, and I’ve tagged further analysis with ‘sandra’s signature’ - please please please check that tag before messaging me about this. Thanks!
I am inspecting the Sandra Bland arrest documentation (available to view here) and I actually… think I have found… some fucked up shit…
Here is a sample of Sandra’s signature from every signed page except for page 7:
I underlined strange spelling errors in the paperwork because I’m not familiar with American police policy and was unsure if documentation would be created anew for each inmate. I’ve enlarged her surname in each of these pictures, because this is where I found a discrepancy on page 7:
For reference, page 7 is the female inmate intake form, which is the form in which Sandra states she is not taking any medication:
compared to the unsigned page 2, in which she states she is taking medication:
It’s kind of hard to spot - and to be honest, if I didn’t deal with contracts on a daily basis at my own job, I might not have spotted it - but that B is not the same on this signature. I noticed a difference in the way the base of the letter was formed, and on closer inspection, it’s apparent that it has been formed in an entirely different way to any of the other signatures in the arrest documentation, which is unusual for a signature as the individual generally writes it the same way each time. That’s, y’know, the point of a signature.
I’ve made some comparisons of my own to show exactly how this signature differs from all the others.
Firstly, here are the other signatures again:
And here is the signature on page 1 compared with the signature on page 7:
Here are my own attempts at replicating each letter B. The
first B is a copy of the letter as it appears in the image. The second is an
exaggerated depiction of the letter to show how the letter was formed. The arrows on each second picture show the direction of the line I was drawing to form the letter in one fluid moment without having to remove my pen from the page (as you would in a signature).
This is a copy of the letter B as it appears in Sandra’s signature on pages 1, 4, 5, 9 and 10:
And this is a copy of the letter B as it appears in the signature on page 7:
This image shows each individual component / pen stroke required in order to form the letter in each signature:
As you can see, the only stroke that these two letters have in common is the first downward stroke. The second stroke takes the letter in an entirely different direction - Sandra usually forms an upward stroke behind the first one, then comes around to form the two curves, then makes an upward stroke to join the B to the next letter. The signature on page 7, after the initial downward stroke, makes a horizontal and upward stroke to form the two curves, then a downward stroke to form the base of the B and join it to the next one.
This difference cannot be explained due to normal signature variation. No-one’s signature looks exactly the same each time they sign it, but they write it the same way – they make the same fluid movements with the pen. The letters are formed the way they usually write them, and any apparent variation is simply due to circumstance – pen pressure, paper quality, time etc. This signature is not the same signature as the others. There is no reason for Sandra to form her B this way in one signature only. The only conclusion to be drawn here is that Sandra did not sign her name on page 7.
I also noticed this funky looking area on the very first page (the booking sheet) which definitely looks like the paperwork has been doctored, but without seeing the actual paperwork, it’s hard to speculate whether the actual arrest template has been amended (ie all booking
sheets use this edited template and have this unusual area on them) or whether
Sandra’s has been doctored after the fact.
I don’t think it’s uncalled for to ask the Waller County Sheriff Department to explain the inaccuracies in this arrest paperwork, and I strongly suggest that people inspect the documentation themselves to see if anything else is amiss – I know literally nothing about the American police system, so I can only spot errors like this. I don’t know if any of the actual information is inaccurate. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it was.
Edit 25.07.2015: Another reading that has been presented to me of this signature is as follows:
I do not personally agree with this reading, and view it like this:
but it’s important to keep both ideas in mind and rely on fact rather than suspicion, which is why I’m adding this amendment here.
Words. He used them effortlessly to conceal every sleight, entrancing the audience with every sound that came out of his mouth as he pulled tricks out of his sleeve. They called him the Silvertongue, what with his uncanny ability to distract his spectators with his pretty words and his unusual charm.
She watches him go through the same routine night after night, sees past his honeyed words and deceptive hands.
She watches him — the way his eyebrows arch, the brightness of his chrysolite eyes shining against the stage lights. His mouth — every pout, each slow parting of his lips. His hands — long, slender fingers performing each trick with practiced ease.
He watches her, too; knows she’s been there every night for the past three weeks. Captures her eyes from the stage, lingering for a few moments before pulling another rabbit out of a hat.
He calls her from the audience one night, asks her to pick a card.
He pulls out a wrong one on purpose, “Is this your card?” he asks, and all he lets her give him is a raised eyebrow and an unimpressed smirk before he flips it over, revealing her true card. “Always knew you weren’t one for the queen of hearts anyway.” He winked at her, and leaned in close. “But I’ll let you be mine.”
“Maybe if you put your silvertongue to better use.”
Bet you thought you’d seen the last of me, complimentandasmile, haha! Like I said, I know this wasn’t what you were expecting, but inspiration struck and I hope you like it anyway. It was a pleasure writing for you again <3