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Perjury Charge Dismissed Against Officer Who Arrested Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland

On July 10, 2015, Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia stopped Sandra Bland for failure to signal a lane change.  Sandra was 28-years old.  She was in Texas to start a job on August 3, 2015 as a summer program associate with Prairie View A&M University in Waller County, Texas.

Upon returning to Sandra’s car with citations for her to sign, Encinia asked Sandra to put out her cigarette.  When Sandra asked Encinia why she would need to put out her cigarette in her own car, Encinia ordered Sandra out of her car, and taking out his stun gun, threatened to “light” her up if she did not comply.  Encinia accused Sandra of assaulting him and she was taken to jail.

On July 13, 2015, Sandra was found dead in her jail cell.  She was found hung with a plastic trash bag around her neck, from a partition that was shorter or about the same height as Sandra, who was 6 feet tall.

In January 2016, a grand jury indicted Brian Encinia (the arresting officer) for perjury.  The grand jury did not believe Encinia’s statement that he wanted Sandra removed from her car so he could conduct a safer traffic investigation. The Texas Department of Public Safety terminated Encinia for violating department standards. Encina was freed on a $2,500 bond.  If convicted for perjury, he faced up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

In March 2016, Brian Encinia was formerly fired from his law enforcement job. Read the rest of this entry

Sandra Bland’s Family Awarded $1.9 Million Settlement

“How did switching lanes with no signal turn into all of this?”

(Question left on a voicemail by Sandra Bland during a call from the jail house.)

On July 10, 2015, Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia stopped Sandra Bland for failure to signal a lane change.  Sandra was 28-years old.  She was in Texas to start a job on August 3, 2015 as a summer program associate with Prairie View A&M University in Waller County, Texas.

sandra-bland-1

Sandra Bland

Upon returning to Sandra’s car with citations for her to sign, Encinia asked Sandra to put out her cigarette.  When Sandra asked Encinia why she would need to put out her cigarette in her own car, Encinia ordered Sandra out of her car, and taking out his stun gun, threatened to “light” her up if she did not comply.  Encinia accused Sandra of assaulting him and she was taken to jail.

On July 13, 2015, Sandra was found dead in her jail cell.  She was found hung with a plastic trash bag around her neck, from a partition that was shorter or about the same height as Sandra, who was 6 feet tall.

In December 2015, a grand jury declined to indict anyone in connection with Sandra’s death.  In January 2016, a grand jury indicted Brian Encinia (the arresting officer) for perjury.  The grand jury did not believe Encinia’s statement that he wanted Sandra removed from her car so he could conduct a safer traffic investigation. The Texas Department of Public Safety terminated Encinia for violating department standards.

Encinia is free on a $2,500 bond.  If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

A Tangled Web is Weaved

In August 2015, Sandra’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit.  They demanded investigative records in the case.  A federal judge in Houston set January 23, 2017 for the case to go to trial.

Read the rest of this entry

Updates, In The News And Open Discussion

Butterflies-48Caterpillars, moths, butterflies, a certain roach, and all creatures great and small,

Thanks to all of our subscribed followers and participants.  Currently, We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident has two award nominations.  They require some work to accept and although I started on accepting one, I have not been able to complete it.   For those who nominated us, please accept my apologies for the delay.

There’s a lot happening, and rather than write separate posts, here’s some snippets with links to news sources.  Feel free to add to the news in the comment section.

Brussel’s Terrorist Attack

Our heart-felt condolences to the victims of the Brussel’s attack, and best wishes for the recovery of the injured.

Brothers Brahim and Khalid El Bakraoui have been identified as two of the suicide bombers in attacks at an airport and on a metro train Tuesday that left 31 people dead and 260 injured.   The LA Times has more on the situation in addition to updates.

Convicted of Manslaughter, Prosecutor Does Not Want Former Cop to Serve Time In Prison

Last month, a jury convicted former New York police officer Peter Lang of manslaughter in the killing of Akai Gurley.  Today, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson told the judge that he does not want Lang to serve time in prison.   Thompson recommended that the judge sentence Liang to serve five years’ probation, six months of home confinement and 500 hours of community service.  Akai’s family is outraged with the prosecutor’s recommendation.  ABC News has more on this story. Read the rest of this entry

Texas Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Has Been Indicted

abuse-of-power-killed-sandra-bland-teas-trooper-brian-encinia-abuse-his-powers-and-is-an-accessoryUJA Waller County grand jury has indicted Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia on perjury charges. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, Encinia could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Grand juries typically review felony cases. Darrell Jordan, one of five special prosecutors assigned to the case, stated “Because he [is] an officer, they have to go through an indictment process, regardless of whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor.” The grand jury’s indictment stemmed from a statement by Encinia

Encinia pulled Bland over on July 10, 2015 for making an improper lane change near Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater, where she had just interviewed and accepted a job. Dashcam video from Encinia’s patrol car shows that the traffic stop quickly became confrontational.

The video shows the trooper holding a stun gun and yelling, “I will light you up!” after Bland refuses to get out of her car. Bland eventually steps out of the vehicle, and Encinia ordered her to the side of the road. Read the rest of this entry

6 Things We Know About Brian Encinia, The Texas Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland’s Alleged Suicide Is Now Officially Being Investigated as a Murder

Based on the dash cam video, Sandra’s car was searched. I would like to know Texas law for illegal searches of vehicles.

The Fifth Column

Image Credit: Facebook

News.Mic

On Monday afternoon, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis announced the death of Sandra Bland, which was initially ruled a suicide, would be treated “as it would be in a murder investigation.” Mathis also said while the Texas Rangers were leading the investigation, the FBI was now supervising it.

“It is very much too early to make any kind of determination that this was a suicide or a murder because the investigations are not complete,” Mathis reportedly said at a press conference.

On July 10, police officers pulled over Sandra Bland for failing to indicate before changing lanes in Waller County, Texas. She was violently arrested, according to a passerby’s video, after becoming allegedly combative with the arresting officer. She was found dead in her jail cell three days later.

After discussing Bland with those closest to her and those who saw her…

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