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Saturday, July 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

No TX Indictments in Death of Sandra Bland

HOUSTON (CN) - Grand jurors in Texas declined on Monday to indict anyone over the death of Sandra Bland, a black woman found dead in her cell after she tussled with a state trooper during a traffic stop.

Darrell Jordan, a special prosecutor for the case, announced late Monday that the grand jury in Waller County had declined to issue indictments against any Waller County Jail staff, according to several media reports.

Jordan said the jury will reconvene to decide whether Brian Encinia, the state trooper who arrested Bland on July 10, should face criminal charges.

Waller County Jail officers found Bland dead in her cell on July 13. Officials said Bland, 28, had hanged herself with a plastic bag.

Bland's story became part of the Black Lives Matter movement's narrative after a dashcam video of the traffic stop went viral. The footage shows Enciani threaten to shock Bland with a Taser, then pull her out of the car after she refuses to get out.

"I will light you up," Encinia screams in the video.

"You're doing all this for a failure to signal....I can't wait to go to court," Bland says.

Encinia claims Bland tried to kick him.

Bland's mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Encinia, his employer the Texas Department of Public Safety, Waller County and two jailers in August.

A federal judge set the trial for January 2017 last week.

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