Whether you believe Sandra Bland hung herself or not, the fact remains that had she not been arrested following a traffic stop gone horribly wrong last July, she may very well be alive today. Instead, mystery continues to surround the death of the Prairie View A&M University graduate, who was taken into custody after
talking back failing to use a turn signal in Waller County, located on the outskirts of Houston.
The 28-year-old was found dead in her cell three days later, in what would be ruled a suicide.
While a Waller County grand jury declined to pursue any legal action against jail officials, today Texas state trooper Brian Encinia was formally charged with perjury in relation to statements he made regarding regarding the actual arrest. According to special prosecutor Phoebe Smith, “the grand jury didn’t believe that statement to be truthful.”
[Also Read: Trouble In Texas: More Questions Than Answers In The Death Of Sandra Bland]
At the heart of the case is the police dashboard-camera video, which shows the encounter spin out of control after Bland refused put her cigarette out, an act that Trooper Encinia used as justification to escalate the situation. Threatening to “light her up” with a taser after she initially refused to get out of the car.
Placed on desk duty following the incident, Encinia now faces a misdemeanor, as the cries for his termination grow even louder. Bland’s death has become (yet another) example of what many deem the continuous mistreatment of minorities at the hands of law enforcement across the nation.
Explained LaVaughn Mosley, a friend of Bland’s, “Here is a young black female who was on her way to being successful. I don’t know what happened in that jailhouse, but obviously something went terribly wrong.”
Update: The Texas Department Public Safety will reportedly fire the state trooper Brian Encinia for perjury in the arrest of Sandra Bland.