On Wednesday the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that the Texas trooper who arrested 28-year-old Sandra Bland has formally been fired.
According to the Texas Tribune, Former officer Brian Encinia was indicted on perjury charges three months ago by a Waller county grand jury and found guilty for lying about the confrontation that led to Sandra Bland’s arrest.
Encinia, whose arrest of Bland was captured on dash cam footage, is seen pulling Bland over for an improper lane change and forcibly removing her from the car after she refused to put out a cigarette.
A bystander video of the arrest shows Bland on the ground after having been pulled from her car. The video shows Bland in distress as officers detain her. Three days after her arrest, Sandra Bland was found hanged with a plastic bag in her cell.
Encinia had claimed in an affidavit that Bland was “combative and uncooperative,” which grand jurors determined to be untrue.
In the letter of termination, Texas Department of Public Safety Director, Steve McCraw states, “I have determined that you have not rebutted the charges set out in the statement of charges of January 28, 2016. No cause has been presented to alter my preliminary decision. Therefore, it is now my decision that you be discharged from the Texas Department of Public Safety.”
If convicted of the perjury charge, Encinia could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Encinia’s attorney Larkin Eakin Jr. says that Encinia will appeal the termination. He has 15 days to appeal the director’s decision.