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A woman holds a poster bearing the portrait of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman who killed herself in a Texas jail cell on July 13th, during a Michael Brown memorial rally in Union Square in New York on Aug. 9, 2015.
Kena Betancur—AFP/Getty Images
Updated: | Originally published:

A Texas grand jury on Wednesday indicted the trooper who arrested Sandra Bland on perjury charges.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia was indicted for a statement he made in his report on the incident saying that he pulled Bland out of her car to continue the investigation, the Houston Chronicle reports. According to the paper, Encinia could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Following the indictment, Texas Department of Public Safety said it will fire the trooper, the Associated Press reports.

Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, was arrested during a traffic stop in July. Three days later she was found dead, hanging from a noose in her cell in what was ruled a suicide. In December, a grand jury declined to indict the jail staff or members of the Waller County Sheriff’s Office in Bland’s death.

The grand jury found Trooper Encinia’s claim—that he removed Bland from her car to conduct the traffic stop safely—to be false. Encinia pulled Bland’s vehicle over for failing to use her turn signal. Video from a police dashboard-camera shows Encinia pulling Bland from her car and threatening to use his Taser, telling Bland, “I will light you up,” the New York Times reports.

Bland’s relatives have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Encinia, the Texas Department of Public Saftey, Waller County, and two county jailers that is set to begin in Jan. 2017.


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