Charges Dropped Against Only Officer to Face Criminal Charges Related to Sandra Bland’s Death

Sandra Bland (Twitter)
Sandra Bland (Twitter)

Former Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia, who arrested motorist Sandra Bland two years ago, was the only officer to face criminal charges in connection with her mysterious death in a Texas jail, but as of Wednesday, the criminal charges against him have been dropped.

Advertisement

Encinia pulled Bland over in Prairie View, Texas, on July 10, 2015, for failing to use a turn signal, and she was found hanged in a jail cell three days later. Encinia faced a perjury charge for making a false statement about the arrest, but papers filed at the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead, northwest of Houston, show that the charges against him have been dismissed, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

More than a year ago, a grand jury said that Encinia lied when he wrote that he removed Bland from her car to conduct a safer traffic investigation.

Advertisement

His assertion was disputed by Bland’s family members as well as civil rights officials who cited the viral dashcam video that showed Encinia threatening to “yank” Bland from her vehicle and use his stun gun on her. Encinia also told Bland that he would “light you up” when she refused to put out her cigarette and step out of her vehicle.

Bland, 28, could not make the $5,000 bond that would have freed her from jail, and was found dead in her cell; the death was ruled a suicide.

Encinia was fired in March 2016 after the indictment.

In September, Bland’s family settled for $1.9 million with Waller County and the Texas Department of Public Safety in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Advertisement

So, 20,384,203,948,230,482,309,482,308th verse, same as the first. Wrongful death settlements, however deserved they may be, are not justice.

We are never going to see justice in these cases.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Many in our community got tired of nothing being done. There has never been a fatal shooting but our community has a large population of POC. In recent years, many Muslims have made their home here and while there have been some incidents with minor vandalism, there has been no outright bodily harm. Still, we know that we can’t just wait around until something happens. So a few of us petitioned local law enforcement. Many of us work in the non-profit sector so we were able to leverage our connections in order to get that meeting. We had a very candid discussion and put forth our recommendations. This all happened recently and we are hopeful that something proactive can be accomplished. It was and is pretty clear that law enforcement will not make that first step. So we had to. As much as it frustrates me that we have to be the ones making inroads, I’m still pleased that it happened and we were received (not well received, though). Who knows what will happen but I just need to do something.