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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.

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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

Officer Who Arrested Sandra Bland Fired From Job

fired-trooper-enciniaBrian Encina, the Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, has been fired from his job with the Texas Department of Public Safety. In December, he was indicted on a perjury charge. He’s accused of lying about his July 10, 2015 arrest of Sandra Bland and their confrontational traffic stop. It was caught on dashcam video and also filmed by a passer-by. The perjury charge is a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Twenty-eight year old Sandra Bland was found dead in the Waller County jail. Although her death was ruled a suicide, an investigation is taking place, including involvement by the FBI. Read the rest of this entry

Round And Round The Story Goes

Dom, your words not only express your talent, but the power in which you use them.

Black and Write

Round and round the story goes

One that’s as old as time

Where it stops nobody knows

Causing tensions to climb

These 50 odd years since civil rights

Have made so little change

Hatred between black and white

Festers like the mange

Fear of lynching may have passed

But fear exists no less

While walking the street they’re still harassed

No matter how finely dressed

Ask Sandra Bland or Michael Brown

Oh wait they cannot speak

Too many names buried in the ground

The future seems so bleak

Justify and deny all you wish

Your blindness it won’t erase

200 years by chains and switch

Like animals kept in place

Nothing has changed in modern day

Ask Eric, Tamir or Trayvon

It matters not what any of us say

Because either way they’re gone

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

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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

Former Independence MO Police Officer Timothy Runnels Pleads Guilty

This case brings me a level of  trust in the Department of Justice, while at the same time, causes me to question their impartiality.

In March 2015, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against former Independence, Missouri, police officer Timothy Runnels for violating the constitutional rights of a minor who was in his custody and obstructing the subsequent investigation into the incident.

Per the Department of Justice:

“According to the indictment, Runnels continuously deployed a Taser against the minor while the minor was on the ground and not posing a threat to Runnels or others.  The indictment also charges that Runnels deliberately dropped the minor headfirst onto the ground while the minor was restrained and not posing a threat to Runnels or others.  The indictment alleges that the minor sustained bodily injury as a result of Runnels’ actions and, with respect to the first count, that the offense involved the use of a dangerous weapon.  The indictment also charges Runnels with two counts of obstruction of justice for filing a false police report concerning the incident and for making a false statement to Independence Police Department investigators regarding the amount of force that he used against the minor.”

Runnels had been on the Independence, MO police force for 2 years. Read the rest of this entry

Update on News And Any Subject Discussion

James Holmes

A jury has found James Holmes guilty of murder in the Colorado theater shooting.

James Holmes victims

Holmes faced two counts of first-degree murder for each of the 12 victims. The jury found him guilty on all 24 counts, and 140 counts of attempted murder for the 70 people wounded in the shooting.

On July 19, 2012, Holmes walked into a theater in Aurora, Colorado that was showing “The Dark Knight Rises.” He walked through a rear door and left it propped open. About 18 minutes after the movie began, Holmes came through the rear door wearing a ballistic helmet, a gas mask, black gloves and protective gear on his legs, throat and groin. He threw a tear gas canister into the theater that exploded, then he opened gunfire with a AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a 40 caliber handgun. Holmes was arrested outside of the theater in the parking lot about 7 minutes after the first 911 call was made to police.

His sentencing phase begins on Wednesday and is expected to last about a month. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Sandra Bland

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Sandra Bland

On Friday afternoon, Sandra was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer for changing lanes without signaling. Bland allegedly struggled with the officer and another cop arrived, both of whom are seen with Bland on the ground during a video taken by a motorist.

Sandra is heard on the video saying “I can’t even fucking feel my arms,” and “You just slammed my head into the ground, do you not even care about that? I can’t even hear!”

One of the officers is heard on the video telling the person recording, “You need to leave.” Read the rest of this entry

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