Texas Trooper Indicted on Perjury Charges in Sandra Bland’s Arrest

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Texas Trooper Indicted on Perjury Charges in Sandra Bland’s Arrest –

HEMPSTEAD, Tex. — The state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, the Chicago-area woman who three days later was found hanged in her cell at the Waller County jail, has been indicted on a perjury charge, a special prosecutor said here Wednesday.

The charge against the Texas state trooper, Brian T. Encinia, is a Class A misdemeanor, and was announced at the end of a day of grand jury deliberations. The charge carries a possible penalty of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine, prosecutors said.

The charge stemmed from a one-page affidavit that Trooper Encinia filed with jail officials justifying the arrest of Ms. Bland, who was pulled over in a routine traffic stop in Prairie View, northwest of Houston, for failing to use her turn signal. Ms. Bland, 28, who was black, was returning to Texas in July to take a job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M.

The trooper wrote that he removed Ms. Bland from her car in order to conduct a safe traffic investigation, but “the grand jury found that statement to be false,” a special prosecutor, Shawn McDonald, said.

The family’s lawsuit — filed in federal court in Houston and scheduled for trial next January — claims that Ms. Bland should never have been arrested and accuses Trooper Encinia of making up a reason to arrest her. It also claims that Ms. Bland, who told jail officials of a previous suicide attempt, was not given proper supervision by jail officials.

Ms. Bland was found hanged with a plastic trash can liner by a jailer who looked into the cell to ask if she wanted to go a recreational room. Jail officials have drawn repeated criticism for not placing Ms. Bland on suicide watch and for permitting the plastic trash can liner to be in her cell. Read the full story…

Source: New York Times

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