Monday, January 11, 2016

A Modicum Of Justice For Sandra Bland ... Though It's Not Enough

Y’all remember Sandra Bland? The black woman stopped for a traffic violation and then was arrested and was later found hanged in her jail cell? And, of course, nothing happened with that case; no arrests for the police; no questions about her treatment in jail; no reason why she would have killed herself.

Well, this week Waller County grand jurors have indicted Department of Public Safety [DPS] trooper Brian Encinia on a single charge of perjury because they believe he lied about his actions during the arrest of Sandra Bland.

The charge against Encinia stems from his own statement at the time of Bland’s arrest on July 10 about why he felt the need to yank her out of the car and throw her to the ground.

In a dashcam video of the traffic stop, Encinia can be seen opening Bland’s driver’s side door and reaching in for her. When she refuses to come out and he threatens to use a Taser on her. 

But in his written report Encinia simply says:
“I had Bland exit the vehicle to further conduct a safe traffic investigation.”
The Bland family attorney, Cannon Lambert, says his clients don’t understand why it took six months to reach the indictment, though I have three reasons:
She was Black.
This was a white police officer.
It happened in Texas.
As a result of the indictment — the only one issued by the grand jury in the Bland case — a warrant was issued for Encinia’s arrest. If convicted, Brian Encinia could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. In addition to the indictment, Brian Encinia has been fired from DPS.

Lambert will now pursue the Texas Rangers report investigating Bland’s death. The report has been withheld from the public because of grand jury proceedings, but “that’s over now” and Lambert has plans to depose people involved in the Texas Rangers investigation to make their case.

Still, it’s a shame there was no real justice for Sandra Bland, but hopefully her family will find closure in knowing that Brian Encinia is a proven liar, may do jail time, face a substantial fine, and is out of job; and possibly, hopefully, he will never be able to carry a badge again.

For, without Brian Encinia’s overzealous and violent treatment of Sandra Bland, she might still be alive today.

And that’s a crime.
The Fifth Column News


the dogs' mother said...

Very sad story.

Michael Dodd said...

She was Black.
This was a white police officer.
It happened in Texas.

Just about says it all ... except you could replace the reference to Texas with far too many other places in this country.

Bob Slatten said...

Sad, but true, Michael, sad, but true.

Helen Lashbrook said...

Death at the hands of those designated to protect the people of Texas; ALL the people of Texas, no matter what their creed, colour or sexual orientation is unacceptable, especially when the charge was such a minor one. Sandra Bland's death is a failure on the part of the authorities, no matter how little they wish to acknowledge that.