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Texas State Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Has Been Fired

Brian Encinia, who is white, was charged with perjury and accused of lying about the circumstances of the arrest of the African-American woman.

Trooper Brian Encinia booking photo
Trooper Brian Encinia booking photo.

A Texas state trooper indicted over his arrest of Sandra Bland — who was later found dead in her jail cell — has been formally fired.

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced the dismissal Wednesday, three months after trooper Brian Encinia was charged with perjury. Encinia is accused of lying about his July 2015 arrest of Bland. The confrontational traffic stop with the trooper was recorded on dashcam video.

Three days later, she was found dead in her cell of an apparent suicide. The family of Bland, a 28-year-old black woman from Chicago, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The Texas Attorney General’s office responded in court papers that the case should be thrown out. State lawyers argue the law enforcement agencies named in the suit have immunity.

Sandra Bland
Sandra Bland, who was found dead at the Waller County Jail on July 13.

Encinia can appeal his firing to a state board. His attorney has said the indictment isn’t justified and that Encinia was looking out for his own safety.

Bland’s death was one in a spate of high-profile deaths of unarmed African-Americans in the hands of law enforcement across the country that bolstered the Black Lives Matter movement.

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