Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia has been fired Wednesday for allegedly lying about the arrest of Sandra Bland, who died in police custody in Austin.
Sandra Bland died during the booking process back in July 2015 in Austin. Bland’s case has been nothing but controversial as racial bias from Austin troopers underline the entire situation.
According to the New York Post, the recently fired Texas state trooper was indicted on perjury charges already in December. However, he was still on paid desk leave by the police department.
His official firing came three months after his bosses first announced they would dismiss him.
The former Texas trooper can still appeal the decision to fire him.
However, after a hearing on the firing between Encinia and Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, the director believed that there was no reason “to alter my preliminary decision,” in regard to the trooper being fired.
A grand jury decided that Encinia’s statement in an affidavit where he said Bland was “combative and uncooperative” did not match their findings during investigation during the former trooper’s perjury hearing.
Trooper Encinia’s attorney, Larkin Eakin, did not comment on his client being fired for the arrest of Sandra Bland, but has called the indictment itself unjustified and that he was “looking out for his own safety.”
Sandra Bland’s family sued after her death last summer in jail following her arrest on the outskirts of Houston. Initially, her death was written off as a suicide as bizarre mugshots of Bland surfaced on the internet.
Some even speculated that Bland was already dead and placed into position by troopers in the controversial photo, which was allegedly doctored to resemble a real mugshot.
The Texas trooper being fired should offer some solace for those seeking justice for Sandra Bland as her death made her one of the first martyrs of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Bland’s arrest by the trooper and subsequent death was linked to other unarmed black suspects who died in police custody, sparking national outrage.
Dashcam video from the former state trooper’s patrol car details how quickly the conflict became hostile. Encinia became fired up when Sandra Bland refused to put out her cigarette, and the situation only escalated from there as the enraged trooper drew his stun gun on an unarmed Bland followed by a fierce “I will light you up!” threat.
Once Bland finally stepped out of her vehicle, the trooper orders her to the side of the road. The confrontation then continues off-camera.
Sandra Bland was then arrested for assault and taken to Waller County Jail in Texas by the troopers. Three days after her arrest, reports say that Bland was found hanging in a jail cell with a plastic garbage bag around her neck.
According to the Inquisitr, the Texas grand jury ruled that Waller County Jail was not at fault for Bland’s death. It will be interesting to see how the same jury will handle Texas Trooper Brian Encinia’s perjury case on Bland’s death after finally being arrested.
Sandra’s family has also filed their own wrongful death lawsuit against the Texas state trooper before he was fired. That case is scheduled to begin in January of next year.
Sandra Bland Family's Suspicions continue to Mount Amid Fight To Expose Death Evidence #whathappenedtosandrabland— Lotus Imagery (@lotusimagery) February 19, 2016
Do you think that the former state trooper will get off the hook for committing perjury on the Sandra Bland case?
[Image via Twitter/ontheblacklist.net]