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Prosecutors drop charge against Brian Encinia, ex-Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland…

stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 25,961 ✭✭✭✭✭
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-brian-encinia-sandra-bland-20170628-story.html
A charge has been dropped against the only official to face criminal indictment related to the arrest of Sandra Bland, a black woman who was found hanged in her Texas jail cell three days after her arrest and whose name became a rallying cry in protests against racial bias in policing.

Former state Trooper Brian Encinia, who pulled Bland over on July 10, 2015, in Prairie View, Texas, for failing to use a turn signal, no longer faces a perjury charge for making a false statement about the arrest, according to papers filed Wednesday at the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead, northwest of Houston.

The dismissal of the charge comes more than a year after a grand jury said Encinia lied when he wrote in an affidavit justifying the arrest that he removed Bland from her car to conduct a safer traffic investigation.

Family members and civil rights officials had protested that assertion, pointing to a viral dash cam video of an escalating confrontation with Bland where the officer said he would “yank” her out of the vehicle, threatened to use a stun gun and said he would “light you up” as she refused to put out a cigarette and step out.

Three days after her arrest, Bland, 28, who could not make a $5,000 bond, was found dead in her jail cell. The death was ruled a suicide as protests grew over her arrest — family representatives said it was a needless arrest and death for a routine traffic violation — and activists aired criticism of the jail and about the circumstances of her death. They included pointing out that jail officials had insight into Bland's mental health history, including a suicide attempt the year before her arrest, but did not place her on suicide watch or check her cell often enough.

Encinia’s attorney, Houston-based Chip Lewis, hailed the dismissal of the charge on Wednesday.

“My client was just a scapegoat. It was an answer to the public pressure over a young lady’s death,” Lewis said. “It wasn’t Mr. Encinia’s fault.”

“He did not commit any criminal act. He would do anything in the world to go back and change the circumstances if he could,” said Lewis, who said his client was a victim of “righteous outcry over the death of Sandra Bland.”


A July 10, 2015, frame from a dashcam video of the confrontation between former state trooper Brian Encinia and Sandra Bland before her arrest. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

Before the special prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charge, Encinia said he would no longer work in law enforcement, and surrendered his Texas Commission on Law Enforcement license, Lewis said. Encinia was fired in March 2016 after the indictment.

“He ended up the poster child for police brutality,” Lewis said, and now, “he’s got a family to raise.”

A Bland family lawyer, Cannon Lambert, said he was shocked at the news. He said he was dismayed the family was not given notice of it.

“You cannot expect communities to feel confident with the system if officers are caught lying in written documents and are not held accountable,” he said. “The notion that the special prosecutor would make a decision like this in the face of the kind of case this is without communicating with the family is deplorable.”

In a statement, special prosecutors Pheobe Smith and Chad Dick said dropping the charge was “the best outcome.”

“We understand that this is far from a perfect solution, and that many people will feel that this is an inadequate punishment, while others feel that charges should have never been filed,” Smith and Dick said. “This is a solution that will guarantee that Mr. Encinia will never be a licensed law enforcement officer again.”

The dismissal of the charge closes one of the last unresolved chapters of years of protests, investigations, civil court proceedings and legislation related to Bland’s arrest and death. The same grand jury that had indicted Encinia also found no felony was committed by jailers or the Waller County Sheriff's Office.

In September, Bland’s family settled for $1.9 million with Waller County and the Texas Department of Public Safety in a wrongful death lawsuit.


This month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the Sandra Bland Act. It forces county jails to send people with mental health and drug abuse issues to treatment, eases the ability of defendants to get personal bond if they have a mental or intellectual disability, and requires independent law agencies to investigate prison deaths.
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“Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards

Replies

  • TrillfateTrillfate "i used to like the Ride more now i like the Race...i used like the Prize more now i like the Chase" Posts: 24,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So fucked up. If u never saw his dashcam footage dude made a u-turn at the sight of a black driver, sped up to follow her and as soon as she tried to get out of his way (so she thought) he pulled her over and the rest is history
    z4qp8gvofqsm.gif
    a.mann
  • PlutarchPlutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNPosts: 3,236 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm led to believe that the reason why many officers walk or get a slap on the wrist is because it's notoriously difficult to convict a police officer. Obviously, that needs to change but in a reasonable way.

    I haven't completely read the article yet, but it seems like he got away mainly because of lack of evidence. Unfortunately, that seems to be a logical and legal decision.

    But obviously, questions need to be answered, real and objective investigation need to occur, etc. At the very least, the officer in question should be tried for perjury, as well as police misconduct for even instigating the incident (a la Zimmerman). Jail officials and judges need to likewise be censured.
  • 5th Letter5th Letter Black Identified Extremist Posts: 37,001 Regulator
    Plutarch wrote: »
    I'm led to believe that the reason why many officers walk or get a slap on the wrist is because it's notoriously difficult to convict a police officer. Obviously, that needs to change but in a reasonable way.

    I haven't completely read the article yet, but it seems like he got away mainly because of lack of evidence. Unfortunately, that seems to be a logical and legal decision.

    But obviously, questions need to be answered, real and objective investigation need to occur, etc. At the very least, the officer in question should be tried for perjury, as well as police misconduct for even instigating the incident (a la Zimmerman). Jail officials and judges need to likewise be censured.

    You're sounding naive
    Fuck who's the baddest a persons status depends on salary
    That buck that bought that bottle could have struck the lotto
    stringer bella.mannOlorun22Plutarch
  • DoubleShotHelixDoubleShotHelix Posts: 470 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good, wtf is the point of wasting all that time and taxpayer money.... Just for the nigga to get off anyway. It's the same story from all these "trials" of cops no matter what they do 99.9999% chance they're going to get off. It's bullshit might as well stop wasting time and money acting like they're actually getting tried to begin with.
  • BusterBreezeBusterBreeze Posts: 479 ✭✭✭✭✭
    so same shit different day..aight then
  • 313 wayz313 wayz Posts: 2,144 ✭✭✭✭✭
    these police unions are really powerful and will stonewall any type of police reform......at the minimum he should have been charged with manslaughter .....shits disgusting
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS10PHjK49Hr04JdUWCKX2bYXGsih3NqqH4zOtp_B1n1t69rffUimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcTBxM0g4vOsb6usHR4kboqDxA_vKsu4ZukNrt_Ul7J8_zS1PZUqimages?q=tbn:ANd9GcTyZHjvkU6XZyqh4Z7pRvPSDXT_cYevrlFXZ2xV5HDzxV_6px8q
    a.mannPlutarch
  • PlutarchPlutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNPosts: 3,236 ✭✭✭✭✭
    5th Letter wrote: »
    Plutarch wrote: »
    I'm led to believe that the reason why many officers walk or get a slap on the wrist is because it's notoriously difficult to convict a police officer. Obviously, that needs to change but in a reasonable way.

    I haven't completely read the article yet, but it seems like he got away mainly because of lack of evidence. Unfortunately, that seems to be a logical and legal decision.

    But obviously, questions need to be answered, real and objective investigation need to occur, etc. At the very least, the officer in question should be tried for perjury, as well as police misconduct for even instigating the incident (a la Zimmerman). Jail officials and judges need to likewise be censured.

    You're sounding naive

    Oh? Please explain. If that's the case, feel free to drop some knowledge.
  • rickmogulrickmogul IFNOTYNOT Posts: 1,940 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2
    It all boils down to $ and these Police Unions. Very powerful organization with reaching tentacles in2 all sectors of State and Federal levels. Some1 soon will take the brunt of all this but convictions would fly in the face of what they represent/ perpetuate. I get it now. Doesn't sit well but I get it.
    313 wayz
  • PlutarchPlutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNPosts: 3,236 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Plutarch wrote: »
    5th Letter wrote: »
    Plutarch wrote: »
    I'm led to believe that the reason why many officers walk or get a slap on the wrist is because it's notoriously difficult to convict a police officer. Obviously, that needs to change but in a reasonable way.

    I haven't completely read the article yet, but it seems like he got away mainly because of lack of evidence. Unfortunately, that seems to be a logical and legal decision.

    But obviously, questions need to be answered, real and objective investigation need to occur, etc. At the very least, the officer in question should be tried for perjury, as well as police misconduct for even instigating the incident (a la Zimmerman). Jail officials and judges need to likewise be censured.

    You're sounding naive

    Oh? Please explain. If that's the case, feel free to drop some knowledge.

    @5th Letter?
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