LOS ANGELES (AP) — Miley Cyrus is twerking back to the MTV Video Music Awards as the show’s host.

The 25-year-old singer-actress revealed on her social media accounts Monday that she’s helming the Aug. 30 ceremony.

Cyrus announced the gig by posting a photo of herself in an alien costume with sandwich boards that read “MTV won’t let me perform” and “so I’m hosting this year’s VMAs.”

A scantily clad Cyrus shocked audiences with a rump-shaking performance alongside Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

Cyrus won the video of the year trophy at last year’s show and invited a young homeless man named Jesse Helt on stage to accept the trophy on her behalf.

The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards will air live on MTV from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

CHICAGO (AP) — The latest on the investigation into the death of a black woman who authorities say hanged herself in a Texas jail cell (all times are local):

8 p.m.

A prominent Texas state senator has asked the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety to release any video it has of the arrest of a woman later found dead in a jail cell.

Sen. Royce West is one of two African American members of the 31-member Texas Senate.

In a letter, the Democrat from Dallas says the circumstances surrounding Sandra Bland’s arrest and detainment “have raised a number of questions for numerous persons, none more than myself.”

Bland was found dead Monday morning in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, in what county officials say the death was a suicide by hanging. Her family and friends have expressed skepticism over the conclusion.

In his letter to Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, West said he regards the death as “suspicious.”

The death is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, which is part of the department.

West noted that Bland’s death “comes months and weeks into what seems to be an unabated season of unfortunate police-citizen encounters.”

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6:30 p.m.

The district attorney for the county where a woman was found dead in a jail cell says he will present the findings of a Texas Rangers investigation into the matter to a grand jury.

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis’ announcement came at a news conference in Hempstead, Texas. He was responding to a question about the importance to the investigation of recently discovered video of Bland describing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that she experienced.

County officials have said Bland’s death was a suicide by hanging in her Waller County Jail cell, but her family and friends have expressed skepticism at the finding.

Mathis said the importance of the video will be determined by the Waller County grand jury because he wanted “the public to have the final say on this issue.”

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6:10 p.m.

A woman whose death in a Texas jail cell prompted suspicions from family and friends acknowledged in March she was suffering from depression.

Sandra Bland said on a video posted to her Facebook page that she’s suffering from “a little bit of depression as well as PTSD,” or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Bland apologizes in the brief March 1 message for not posting any videos for two weeks, saying she’s been having “depressed moments.” She doesn’t explain the cause of her PTSD, but says they are things that affect everyone no matter their race.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the death of the 28-year-old, who authorities say hanged herself in her cell Monday in Waller County jail. Her family and friends have said it’s unimaginable that she would have killed herself. She recently moved to Texas from Illinois and was due to start a new job.

An attorney for the family did not return messages from The Associated Press on Thursday night about the video.

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6 p.m.

A district attorney says a woman who was found dead in a Texas jail used a plastic bag to hang herself from a partition in her cell.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said an autopsy found Sandra Bland died by asphyxiation. He also said that although jail video didn’t show what went on in Bland’s cell, it showed no one went in or out of it from the time she was placed there until a jailer found her unconscious.

Bland’s body was found Monday morning in a Waller County jail cell in Hempstead. She had been taken into custody after she allegedly kicked a police officer following a traffic stop.

Sheriff Glenn Smith said jailers had used an intercom to check on Bland less than an hour before she was found dead.

———

This item has been corrected to reflect that the sheriff addressed when Bland was checked on. Restores dropped word in last paragraph.

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5 p.m.

A video posted online appears to show the arrest of a woman who was later found dead in a Texas jail. In it, an officer is seen pinning a woman to the ground with one knee.

She can be heard yelling that she can’t feel her arm or hear. She asks the officer why he slammed her head into the ground over a traffic violation.

An attorney for Sandra Bland’s family says he’s been in contact with the person who recorded or posted the video and he believes it’s authentic. The Associated Press could not independently verify it. But the images are consistent with information the family gleaned from a jailhouse phone call they received from Bland before her death Monday.

Authorities say she hanged herself. Relatives are questioning that account.

———

4:40 p.m.

Jasmyne Nicole Franklin refuses to believe that the woman she was best friends with since they met in third grade hanged herself in a Texas jail cell.

Franklin of the Chicago suburb of Streamwood says Sandra Bland was “so excited” when they spoke over the phone a few weeks ago about Bland’s new job at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. She says Bland told her the job was “perfect” for her.

Bland’s body was found Monday morning in a Waller County jail cell in Hempstead. She had been taken into custody after she allegedly kicked a police officer following a traffic stop. A coroner in Texas has classified Bland’s death as suicide by hanging.

———

4:15 p.m.

The Texas jail under scrutiny for the death of a woman found hanging in her cell was cited three years ago by a state agency for improperly monitoring prisoners.

The Texas Commission of Jail Standards inspected the Waller County jail after James Howell hanged himself with a bedsheet in November 2012. The commission found the jail was not checking all inmates at least once an hour, as required by law.

The Texas Rangers and FBI are investigating the death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland. Authorities say she hanged herself in her cell Monday, though her family says it’s unimaginable that she would have killed herself. She recently moved to Texas from Illinois and was due to start a new job.

———

3 p.m.

A woman found dead in a Texas cell after an arrest that began with a traffic stop was outspoken about racism and police brutality.

On her Facebook page, Sandra Bland posted a series of videos of herself delivering monologues she titled “Sandy Speaks.” In the videos, Bland describes feeling called by God to speak out against racism and injustice. In a video posted earlier this year, she talks about the power of social media to bring about change.

In place of a profile picture she had posted the statement: “Now legalize being black in America.” Her family’s attorney confirmed it was her Facebook page.

Authorities say she hanged herself. She was found dead in her cell on Monday. Her family says it’s unimaginable that she would have killed herself.

———

2:30 p.m.

The sister of a woman found dead in a Texas jail cell says she spoke to her by phone after the arrest, which began with a minor traffic violation.

Shante Needham says her sister, Sandra Bland, told her the arresting officer pushed his knees into her back and that she believed her arm was broken.

Needham told reporters in Chicago her sister was “very aggravated” and seemed to be in pain when she called on Saturday, a day after the arrest. Needham says she reassured her sister that she would work to get her released on bail.

Authorities say Bland kicked an officer during the arrest.

Cannon Lambert, an attorney hired by the family, says it would have been uncharacteristic of Bland to “strike out” at someone without any provocation.

———

2:15 p.m.

Family members of a woman who authorities say hanged herself in a Texas county jail say she gave no indication that she was in such an emotional state that she would kill herself.

Sharon Cooper of Naperville, Illinois, said at a news conference in Chicago that it’s “unfathomable” that her sister, Sandra Bland, would have killed herself.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the circumstances of her death. Bland was found dead Monday in a Waller County jail cell in Hempstead, about 60 miles northwest of Houston.

She had been pulled over Friday for failing to signal a lane change and was arrested on a charge of assaulting a public servant.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge’s decision to release videos showing police killing an unarmed California man doesn’t mean it will be easier for the public to get such footage. In fact, it shows police will do all they can to keep recordings secret.

Even after U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled Tuesday in favor of news media companies that the First Amendment required unsealing the evidence in a lawsuit, the city of Gardena took its aggressive fight to shield the footage from view to a higher court.

“We have serious privacy concerns as it relates to the release of police videos in general,” Gardena Police Chief Ed Medrano said in a statement after the ruling. “Although the video has been released, we are still moving forward with our appeal because we are concerned about the broader implications of this decision.”

The ruling comes amid a broader debate about whether public accountability requires disclosure of video of officers using force recorded by a growing number of cameras worn on police uniforms and mounted in their cruisers. Police want to keep footage under wraps as evidence exempt from disclosure and to protect the privacy of people caught on camera.

Video showing the fatal encounter with Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was released after an attorney for The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg argued the videos should be unsealed because of the intense public scrutiny of police shootings nationwide and the public’s interest in knowing what happened.

Wilson agreed, saying people should be able to see why the city paid $4.7 million to settle a lawsuit with Diaz-Zeferino’s family and another man wounded in the shooting “only strengthens the public’s interest in seeing the videos.” He also said any privacy concerns were outweighed because the victims wanted the footage released.

The city of Gardena had argued that the videos were protected from disclosure by an exemption in the California Public Records Act, and that releasing them could harm the officers and dissuade other cities from using video if they thought it would be broadcast publicly.

Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, said the ruling could have a positive influence on public policy discussions over what can be disclosed, in part because video tended to support the reason Gardena police cited for shooting Diaz-Zeferino.

“It reinforced for us what an extraordinary tragedy it was,” Scheer said. “It also gives greater credence and legitimacy to the story that police have been telling about this. Not that it wasn’t a horrible mistake, but if you looked at what I saw, you didn’t see rogue cops looking for someone to kill on the street.”

Diaz-Zeferino and two friends had been stopped by police investigating a bicycle theft. The bike belonged to his brother, and the other men said Diaz-Zeferino was trying to tell officers they were looking for the bike.

He was shot eight times after repeatedly dropping his hands despite police orders to keep them up.

Three officers said they fired because they feared he was reaching for a weapon.

A video shot from behind those officers, who stood to his side, showed his right hand drop briefly out of view near his pants pocket when they started shooting.

A video shot from the perspective of a sergeant, who was facing the three men and didn’t shoot, showed Diaz-Zeferino had his hands open and palms facing upward when he was shot.

Prosecutors cleared the officers of any wrongdoing and they are back on the job.

Attorneys for Diaz-Zeferino’s family and the wounded man asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate the Gardena Police Department for routinely violating their own policies and California state law by failing to internally investigate fatal shootings by officers, including that of Diaz-Zeferino. They cited 10 other fatal shootings involving Gardena officers since 2009.

While Wilson’s ruling could be cited in court filings, it won’t likely have broader ramifications unless an appeals court hears the case.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order staying the release of videos and said it would hear the city’s appeal. However, before the stay was granted the videos already had been released by the lower court.

——

Associated Press writer Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this story.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge’s decision to release videos showing police killing an unarmed California man doesn’t mean it will be easier for the public to get such footage. In fact, it shows police will do all they can to keep recordings secret.

Even after U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson ruled Tuesday in favor of news media companies that the First Amendment required unsealing the evidence in a lawsuit, the city of Gardena took its aggressive fight to shield the footage from view to a higher court.

“We have serious privacy concerns as it relates to the release of police videos in general,” Gardena Police Chief Ed Medrano said in a statement after the ruling. “Although the video has been released, we are still moving forward with our appeal because we are concerned about the broader implications of this decision.”

The ruling comes amid a broader debate about whether public accountability requires disclosure of video of officers using force recorded by a growing number of cameras worn on police uniforms and mounted in their cruisers. Police want to keep footage under wraps as evidence exempt from disclosure and to protect the privacy of people caught on camera.

Video showing the fatal encounter with Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was released after an attorney for The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg argued the videos should be unsealed because of the intense public scrutiny of police shootings nationwide and the public’s interest in knowing what happened.

Wilson agreed, saying people should be able to see why the city paid $4.7 million to settle a lawsuit with Diaz-Zeferino’s family and another man wounded in the shooting “only strengthens the public’s interest in seeing the videos.” He also said any privacy concerns were outweighed because the victims wanted the footage released.

The city of Gardena had argued that the videos were protected from disclosure by an exemption in the California Public Records Act, and that releasing them could harm the officers and dissuade other cities from using video if they thought it would be broadcast publicly.

Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, said the ruling could have a positive influence on public policy discussions over what can be disclosed, in part because video tended to support the reason Gardena police cited for shooting Diaz-Zeferino.

“It reinforced for us what an extraordinary tragedy it was,” Scheer said. “It also gives greater credence and legitimacy to the story that police have been telling about this. Not that it wasn’t a horrible mistake, but if you looked at what I saw, you didn’t see rogue cops looking for someone to kill on the street.”

Diaz-Zeferino and two friends had been stopped by police investigating a bicycle theft. The bike belonged to his brother, and the other men said Diaz-Zeferino was trying to tell officers they were looking for the bike.

He was shot eight times after repeatedly dropping his hands despite police orders to keep them up.

Three officers said they fired because they feared he was reaching for a weapon.

A video shot from behind those officers, who stood to his side, showed his right hand drop briefly out of view near his pants pocket when they started shooting.

A video shot from the perspective of a sergeant, who was facing the three men and didn’t shoot, showed Diaz-Zeferino had his hands open and palms facing upward when he was shot.

Prosecutors cleared the officers of any wrongdoing and they are back on the job.

Attorneys for Diaz-Zeferino’s family and the wounded man asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate the Gardena Police Department for routinely violating their own policies and California state law by failing to internally investigate fatal shootings by officers, including that of Diaz-Zeferino. They cited 10 other fatal shootings involving Gardena officers since 2009.

While Wilson’s ruling could be cited in court filings, it won’t likely have broader ramifications unless an appeals court hears the case.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order staying the release of videos and said it would hear the city’s appeal. However, before the stay was granted the videos already had been released by the lower court.

——

Associated Press writer Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this story.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge ordered a suburban Los Angeles city on Tuesday to release video of police fatally shooting an unarmed man two years ago.

The public should be able to see what led the city of Gardena to pay $4.7 million to settle a lawsuit with the family of the dead man and another man wounded in the shooting, Judge Stephen V. Wilson said.

“The fact that they spent the city’s money, presumably derived from taxes, only strengthens the public’s interest in seeing the videos,” Wilson wrote in his 13-page decision. “Moreover, defendants cannot assert a valid compelling interest in sealing the videos to cover up any wrongdoing on their part or to shield themselves from embarrassment.”

But the order was stayed by a federal appeals court late in the day — hours after the court had released what Wilson said were “potentially upsetting and disturbing because of the events they depict,” but “not overly gory or graphic” videos.

A lawyer representing The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg had asserted there is intense public scrutiny of police shootings nationwide. The media organizations asked the judge to unseal the videos under a First Amendment right to access court documents.

“We applaud the court’s decision to unseal the video,” AP spokesman Paul Colford said. “The Associated Press, joining with other news organizations, believes it’s important that the public has access to videos like this to better understand the actions of their police officers.”

Footage shot from three police-car cameras shows the killing of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, who was stopped with two other friends by police investigating a bicycle theft early the morning of June 2, 2013.

The stolen bike belonged to Zeferino’s brother and he was trying to find it, but he was shot when he didn’t obey officers’ commands to stand still with his hands in the air, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney in a report outlining why officers weren’t charged.

In the videos, Diaz-Zeferino, who was drunk at the time, first followed police orders to raise his hands, but then lowered them three times. The final time, he removed his ball cap, lowered his arms and reached out with his palms up. That’s when police opened fire.

Witnesses said Diaz-Zeferino was trying to tell officers that they stopped the wrong men.

Camera footage shot from the side where the three officers opened fire shows his right hand go out of view at his waist when they began shooting. Officers said they feared he was reaching for a weapon.

Diaz-Zeferino was shot eight times, and Eutiquio Acevedo Mendez was shot once. They fell to the street.

Two minutes later, police handcuffed a bloody and limp Diaz-Zeferino. Nine minutes after he was shot, paramedics arrived.

An autopsy found methamphetamine in Diaz-Zeferino’s system.

The ruling comes amid public debates over what footage should be made public as police officers and cruisers are increasingly equipped with cameras to capture evidence that can be used against criminals or to hold officers accountable for their own behavior.

Michael Overing, a lawyer and journalism professor at the University of Southern California, said that in addition to being cited in future court filings the ruling could help provide guidance as lawmakers grapple with those issues.

“Right now, video is being suppressed,” Overing said. “This is going to help open the floodgates so the public can see it … and see if actions are justified.”

Gardena was joined by police chiefs and officer groups around the state in arguing that making such videos public would dissuade cities from employing the technology.

Wilson said that was a political concern and not for him to judge.

The city of Gardena argued that releasing the footage would create a “rush to judgment” about the officers’ behavior, but Wilson dismissed that idea during arguments Monday. The judge said the public may see the videos and reach the same conclusion as prosecutors that the shooting was justified.

Lawyers for Diaz-Zeferino said the investigation into the shooting was tainted because officers were able to review the videos before giving statements, a courtesy not offered to a member of the public involved in a shooting.

Attorney Samuel Paz said they may ask federal prosecutors to investigate whether the shooting was a civil rights violation.

“I think it is really helpful for the public to understand why they would be willing to pay $4.7 million to settle the case when we were on the eve of trial,” Paz said. “When the public sees the video and other law enforcement agencies see the video, this is very much a criminal act.”

———

Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this story.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal judge orders release of video showing police killing unarmed man in Los Angeles suburb.