Trial Date Set in Sandra Bland Case

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
A woman at a Michael Brown memorial rally in Union Square in New York City on Aug. 9, 2015, holds a poster bearing the portrait of Sandra Bland, who killed herself in a Texas jail cell July 13, 2015.

A trial date has been set for Jan. 23, 2017, in the civil lawsuit filed by Sandra Bland's family against Waller County, Texas; the Texas Department of Public Safety; Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia, who arrested Bland; and two other jailers who were in contact with Bland before her death, ABC 13 reports.

Bland made national news after she was found dead in her cell following a traffic violation July 13. Police officials claim that Bland hanged herself, but Bland's family has argued that the woman they knew and loved would not have committed suicide.


Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, and family members, along with several supporters, gathered at the federal courthouse in Houston to note their displeasure with the way this case has been handled.  

"I'm coming here before you to tell you I'm not OK," Reed-Veal said, according to ABC 13. "Coming out of this hearing today, I'm not OK. My daughter is gone. I have now celebrated one holiday without her. It is tough. I walked into these doors with continuations, dates, delays. I'm coming out of these doors with continuations, dates and delays."

Cannon Lambert, an attorney for the Bland family, added that he doesn't accept the suicide findings because his legal team has yet to see the report into Bland's death from the Texas Rangers, a division of the Department of Public Safety.

"We're not even sure that the plastic bag was fingerprinted. And so if the grand jury is supposed to be trying to make a determination on whether or not there should be an indictment, you'd think that the instrument of death would have been fingerprinted," attorney Cannon Lambert said, according to ABC 13. "We don't have any evidence to indicate that's the case."


Waller County attorneys claim that Bland took her life after becoming despondent that her family would be unable to  bail her out immediately.

According to the news station, the judge has yet to rule on whether the Department of Public Safety and Encinia can be sued, since state law says that they are immune from prosecution.


Read more at ABC 13

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