The Texas state trooper who pulled over Sandra Bland and now faces a perjury charge in the case remains on the payroll even as a federal judge heard arguments Thursday on whether a wrongful death lawsuit should be delayed until he’s tried in criminal court.
Brian Encinia deserves a fair criminal trial on the misdemeanor, said Seth Dennis, an assistant Texas attorney general.
“Let the criminal case play out,” Dennis urged the judge….
This and other cases are highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement. Time magazine covered a story where “[t]he nation’s first African American president convened a group of activists, both young and old, for a discussion on how he can spend his final year in office tackling issues that impact the black community—from criminal justice reform to police-community relations.” Although some say the movement is decentralized, certainly the case of Sandra Bland is not falling through the cracks as the officer was indicated for perjury:
Encinia stopped Bland for making an improper lane change near Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater, where the Chicago-area woman had just interviewed and accepted a job.
Dashcam video from Encinia’s patrol car shows the traffic stop quickly became confrontational and Bland was arrested for assault and taken to the Waller County jail. Three days later, she was found hanging from a jail cell partition with a plastic garbage bag around her neck.
Bland’s family has said they were working to get about $500 for her bail when they learned of her death.
A grand jury last month tied its perjury indictment of Encinia to his statement in an affidavit where he said Bland was combative and uncooperative after he stopped her and that he removed her from her car to further conduct a safer traffic investigation.
In December, a grand jury declined to indict Waller County sheriff’s officials or jailers.
Read more at the Washington Post