State Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Indicted, Fired from Force

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Lawyers for Bland's family have argued that Texas state trooper Brian Encinia had no grounds for the July arrest.

A Texas grand jury has opted to indict Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland three days before her July death, and charge him with perjury. Hours after the indictment, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that Encinia would be fired from his post, reports the New York Times.

Encinia pulled Bland over on July 10 for failing to use her traffic signal. After Bland allegedly refused to put out her cigarette, Encinia ordered her out of the vehicle. Dash cam video shows Encinia, who later claimed that he was attempting to safely conduct a traffic investigation, threatening to use his taser, saying that he was going to “light up” Bland. 

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The confrontation ended with Encinia forcibly arresting Bland. Bland was detained, and three days later, she was found hanging in her jail cell.

Lawyers for Bland’s family have argued that Encinia did not have grounds for the arrest and escalated the confrontation. Yesterday afternoon, the grand jury, who declined to charge any of the officers involved in Bland’s death, delivered the indictment.

A Waller County judge is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Encinia in the coming days. 

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