After seeing the videos of Sandra Bland's arrest and Samuel Dubose's murder, I have to point out that there's a similarity in the two that fills me with rage and sadness.

In the aftermath of these two unjust, unprovoked events, both Brian Encinia and Ray Tensing can be heard fabricating false accounts, belied by the footage that precedes them. In their retellings, both men cast themselves as victims. "I tried to deescalate her [...] I tried to calm her down," says Encinia. "He was dragging me. Yeah, he took off on me. My hand was caught inside," says Tensing.

These lies are so flagrant that it makes me wonder whether what we're hearing is deception or self-deception. Are Trooper Encinia and Officer Tensing panicking and lying out of fear, or do they truly believe that they had no choice but to act as they did?

It is probably a combination of the two, and this should be deeply troubling to us all. Always, we have the choice to be hateful or respectful, to ask ourselves if we are the problem, to treat another person like a human being. Always.