Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia Indicted For Perjury In Case Of Sandra Bland’s Death
Brian Encinia, the Texas State Trooper who wrongfully arrested Sandra Bland, has been indicted for perjury by a Waller County grand jury.
Via The Houston Chronicle:
The charge is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, Encinia could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine
The charge stemmed from a statement Encinia made in his report of the arrest, in which said he pulled Bland out of her car to continue the investigation.
“They just didn’t believe it … a warrant will be issued and we’ll go from there,” he said.
The Office of the Attorney General, which is representing Encinia in a separate wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bland’s family, has not yet returned requests for comment. DPS did not immediately respond to request for comment.
In December, special prosecutors announced that a grand jury convened to review the circumstances surrounding Bland’s detention and death had declined to issue any indictments to jail staff or any members of the Waller County Sheriff’s Office.
The 28-year-old African-American woman was arrested during a traffic stop in July. Three days later, jail staff found her hanging from a noose in her Waller County jail cell. Her death, ruled a suicide by medical examiners, sparked disbelief from her family and outraged civil rights activists across the country, who called for greater accountability on the part of law enforcement.
The subsequent outcry led state lawmakers to call for hearings on jail procedures and safety and for state regulators to change how inmates are evaluated for mental health issues after they are arrested.
Encinia stopped Bland for an improper lane change near Prairie View A&M University on July 10. Dashcam video showed an increasingly confrontational encounter between the two, with Encinia at one point brandishing a stun gun and yelling at Bland, “I will light you up!”
After the video surfaced, DPS Director Steve McCraw said Encinia violated department standards and placed him on administrative duty.
Separately, Bland’s relatives have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against Trooper Encinia, DPS, Waller County and county jailers Elsa Magnus and Oscar Prudente. A trial date is set for January 2017.
Below is the disturbing video of Brian Encinia’s encounter and arrest of Sandra Bland.
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