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.
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.
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.
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.