The now infamous Texas state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, a 28-year old Black woman found dead in her jail cell, in a traffic stop last summer on July 10, 2015 has lost his job after being indicted by a grand jury.
Trooper Brian Encinia is being charged with perjury after allegedly lying about his confrontation with Bland during the stop.
Encinia claimed in an affidavit that Sandra Bland was “combative and uncooperative” after he pulled her over and ordered her out of the car.
It was Wednesday night [January 6, 2015], that the grand jury identified the affidavit in charging the trooper with perjury, according to special prosecutor Shawn McDonald.
The Texas Department of Public Safety announced soon after that it would “begin termination proceedings” against Encinia, who has been on paid desk duty since Bland’s death.
Bland’s death found its place among the other high profile cases involving the deaths of unarmed Black individuals at the hands of law enforcement.
This perjury charge is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum of only on year behind bars and a $4,000 fine.
Present at Wednesday’s news conference, Jinaki Muhammad, national vice-co-chairwoman of women’s affair for the National Black United Front calls the indictment “a slap in the face to the Bland family.”
It was just last month that a grand jury declined to charge anyone for her death in police custody.
Sandra Bland’s family has expressed their disappointment in the grand jury, and has also filed a wrongful-death suit.
Scheduled for trial in January 2017, the lawsuit claims that Ms. Bland’s arrest was unwarranted, and accuses Trooper Encinia with making up a reason to arrest her. It also claims that Sandra was not properly supervised following a previous suicide attempt.