On July 10, Sandra Bland was pulled over by a Texas Department of Safety Trooper for failure to signal a lane change. Matters quickly escalated, bland was arrested, and three days later, she was found dead in a Waller County jail cell. Bland’s family has retained Attorney Larry Rogers Jr. of Power Rogers as co-counsel in a wrongful death lawsuit against DPS Trooper Brian Encinia and several others they deem responsible for Sandra’s death.
The wrongful death suit names DPS Trooper Brian Encinia, Elsa Magnus and Oscar Prudente (screening officers at the jail), Waller County, and the Texas Department of Public Safety as defendants.
Bland’s death was ruled a suicide after authorities found her hanged in her jail cell. Although Bland’s family has questioned this finding, they have stated that regardless of the cause, Bland should not have died in jail or gone to jail in the first place. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Encinia mishandled the traffic stop.
Dashcam video of the traffic stop reveals that within minutes of the initial stop, Encinia asked Bland to step out of the vehicle, threatened to use a taser, and had Bland pinned on the ground to arrest her. The lawsuit alleges that the way Encinia conducted the stop violated Bland’s constitutional rights and safety.
The Waller County jail and some of its staff are also to blame, says the suit, for failing to adequately monitor Bland, administer necessary care, and provide proper training to jail staff to handle potentially suicidal inmates.
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