Sandra Bland’s name is back in the news today. LBN’s Ryan Gaumont reports that a Texas grand jury presented with evidence in the death of Ms. Bland has declined to return an indictment against anyone because of the death. Ms. Bland was arrested for a traffic offense. Three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell from what was ruled a suicide by the county coroner. [LBN reported on the arrest and the subsequent wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bland’s mother.]
Bland’s arrest grew out of a traffic stop on July 10, 2015. When she refused to get out of her car, a confrontation developed involving Trooper Brian Encina. As LBN reported, the dashboard camera footage later released showed a tense scene, including the trooper’s attempt to drag Bland from the car, drawing his stun gun, and saying that “I will light you up.”
In the wake of the death, there have been calls for criminal charges to be filed against Trooper Encina. Bland’s family has been suspicious of the coroner’s ruling of suicide. At a news conference on Monday, Bland’s family said they did not believe the case was being investigated thoroughly by the Texas Rangers or properly presented to the grand jury by special prosecutors.
Special prosecutor Darrell Jordan said that “the case is still open,” and that grand jurors would reconvene next month to discuss other aspects of it. Meanwhile, the wrongful death case is still pending, and U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner has set the case for trial on January 23, 2017 in the federal court in Houston.
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