Weeks after a Texas state trooper was fired from his post for his role in Sandra Bland’s July arrest, he has pled not guilty to perjury charges.
The Huffington Post reports that former trooper Brian Encinia appeared before a judge yesterday afternoon and pleaded not guilty on charges of lying on his arrest report. If he is found guilty, he faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Encinia pulled Bland over for a minor violation on July 10. During the traffic stop, dash cam video shows Encinia confronting Bland, eventually demanding that she exit the vehicle. The interaction ends with the trooper slamming the 28-year-old onto the ground and arresting her. Bland was found dead in her jail cell three days later.
A January grand jury indicted Encinia, citing that he gave false testimony on his police report, and he was fired earlier this month for violating procedures and unnecessarily escalated the traffic stop. No other officer has been punished for their role in Bland’s death.