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Waller Grand Jury Indicts Trooper Encinia For Perjury In Sandra Bland Case

A grand jury in Waller County has indicted Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Brian Encinia with the misdemeanor charge of perjury. DPS announced it will terminate the trooper.

Encina and Bland

Screenshot from Department of Public Safety dash cam video shows Sandra Bland as she exits her car after DPS officer Brian Encinia has drawn his taser on July 10, 2015.

A grand jury in Waller County has indicted Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Brian Encinia for perjury in connection with the Sandra Bland case. 

And the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced it will begin termination proceedings against Encinia, who was pulled off the streets and placed on administrative duty following the confrontation with Bland.

DPS issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Following the Waller County grand jury indictment of Trooper Brian Encinia today, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will begin termination proceedings to discharge him from the department.”

“Following the arrest of Sandra Bland by Trooper Encinia during a traffic stop on July 10, 2015, in Prairie View, Texas, and the subsequent in-custody death at the Waller County Jail, the Texas Rangers immediately conducted an investigation into both incidents to determine if any criminal violation had occurred. The results of the investigation were turned over to the Waller County special prosecutors and ultimately the grand jury.”

Bland, a black woman from Illinois, was found hanged in a Waller County Jail cell on July 13, 2015. It was just three days after she was arrested by Trooper Encinia during a traffic stop.  

According to the Associated Press, Encinia is accused of lying about how he removed Bland from her vehicle. Encinia has been on desk duty since 28-year-old Sandra Bland was found dead in her cell in July.

Shawn McDonald, a special prosecutor from Houston, says grand jurors are done investigating the case.

Bland’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against Trooper Encinia, along with several other Waller County and state officials.

A trial date is set for January 2017.

 

Statement from Texas Rep. Garnet Coleman:

“I’m glad that Sandra Bland’s family will get their day in court. In my opinion, Trooper Brian Encinia’s actions where the catalyst for the death of Sandra Bland. Trooper Encinia is innocent until proven guilty and it is now up to our justice system to make the final determination. “

 

Video of the traffic stop in question 

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Tomeka Weatherspoon

Tomeka Weatherspoon

Senior Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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