Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Indicted

Brian Encinia faces perjury charge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2016 1:19 AM CST
Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Indicted
In this July 10, 2015, frame taken from dashcam video, Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia confronts Sandra Bland after a minor traffic infraction in Waller County, Texas.   (Texas Department of Public Safety via AP, File)

The grand jury that refused to hand down indictments in the jailhouse death of Sandra Bland has indicted the Texas state trooper who arrested her for a minor traffic infraction. Brian Encinia—who was seen on video telling Bland he would "light her up"—was indicted on perjury charges after the grand jury decided it didn't believe the trooper's claim that he pulled Bland from her car to "further conduct a safe traffic investigation," reports the Houston Chronicle. Bland, 28, was found dead in a Waller County cell three days after Encinia pulled her over for failing to signal a lane change and arrested her after a confrontation.

After the indictment was announced, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced it had started the process to fire the trooper, who has been on desk duty since a few days after Bland's arrest on July 10, 2015, reports CNN. The next step is for an arrest warrant to be issued and for Encinia to be arraigned, reports the New York Times, which notes that a lawyer for the Bland family has called the handling of the case a "sham of a process." If convicted of perjury, Encinia faces a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $4,000 fine, which Bland's mother tells the Chronicle is a "slap on the wrist." "What I'm looking for is for the accountability to be placed where it needs to be," she says. "That's what I want to see." (More Sandra Bland stories.)

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