Sandra Bland's mother says perjury charge against Texas trooper 'not justice'

CHICAGO -- The mother of a black woman found dead in a Texas jail cell after a traffic stop in July expressed outrage Thursday that the white state trooper who pulled her over was only charged with nothing more than perjury.

See Full Article

And even on that misdemeanour, Sandra Bland's anguished mother said she had little confidence in the prospect of a conviction.

Geneva Reed-Veal told reporters in Chicago the trooper should have been charged with assault, battery and false arrest.

"To charge this guy with a misdemeanour, are you kidding me?" she said of the perjury charge, which carries a maximum of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. "I'm angry, absolutely. ... That's not justice for me."

Bland, a 28-year-old former resident of Naperville, Illinois, was stopped in July for an improper lane change. The stop quickly escalated into a shouting match and a physical confrontation in which the trooper threatened to use a stun gun. Bland was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the trooper. Authorities say Bland hanged herself in her jail cell three days later.

Trooper Brian Encinia was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury in Texas on allegations that he lied when he claimed in an affidavit that Bland was "combative and unco-operative" after he pulled her over during the traffic stop and ordered her out of her car.

Hours after the indictment, the Texas Department of Public Safety said it would "begin termination proceedings" against Encinia, who has been on paid desk duty since Bland was found dead in her cell.

Reed-Veal said the trooper should not be out on the street "to infect anyone else's life."

The family has filed a civil rights lawsuit that it hopes will shed more light on what happened to Bland and compel authorities to release documents, including a Texas Rangers investigation into the case. Authorities had withheld the Rangers report, citing the grand jury process that has now finished.

Reed-Veal said the separate criminal proceedings in the trooper's case would not bring "true justice."

"Who is going to prosecute this guy? Is it the same group of folks who selected the grand jury?" she said, chuckling in apparent disbelief. "... I don't trust the process."

Encinia was not immediately taken into custody, and an arraignment date has not yet been announced. Encinia could not be reached for comment; a cellphone number for him was no longer working.

Bland's arrest and death provoked national outrage and drew the attention of the Black Lives Matter movement. Protesters questioned officials' assertion that Bland killed herself and linked her to other blacks killed in confrontations with police or who died in police custody, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Encinia pulled Bland over on July 10 for making an improper lane change near Prairie View A&M University, her alma mater, where she had just interviewed for and accepted a job.

Dashcam video from Encinia's patrol car shows Encinia drawing his stun gun and telling Bland, "I will light you up!" Bland eventually steps out of the vehicle, and Encinia orders her to the side of the road. She can later be heard off-camera screaming that he's about to break her wrists and complaining that he knocked her head into the ground.

Encinia wrote in his affidavit that he had Bland exit the vehicle and handcuffed her after she became combative, and that she swung her elbows at him and kicked him in his right shin. Encinia said he then used force "to subdue Bland to the ground" and she continued to fight back. He arrested her, alleging assault on a public servant.

Bland was taken to the Waller County jail in Hempstead, Texas, about 50 miles northwest of Houston. Three days later, she was found hanging from a jail cell partition with a plastic garbage bag around her neck. The grand jury has already declined to charge any sheriff's officials or jailers in her death.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Italian PM Renzi quits as search begins for new leader

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned Wednesday evening, his self-inflicted penalty for staking his job on constitutional changes voters resoundingly rejected earlier in the week. He will stay in a caretaker's role at the request of Italy's president until a new government can be formed. Source
  • Winnipeg man pleads guilty to bigamy

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A former Winnipeg man married to two women for more than a year has learned what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. The 43-year-old man pleaded guilty in Winnipeg court Wednesday to one count of bigamy. Source
  • Rescuers search through Indonesia quake rubble for second day

    World News CTV News
    MEUREUDU, Indonesia - Rescue workers, soldiers and police combed through the rubble of a devastated town in Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday, resuming a search for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and blackouts. Source
  • Mississippi teacher barred for 12 years after dragging student by hair

    World News Toronto Sun
    JACKSON, Miss. — Fired, criminally charged and with her state teaching license on the line, Linda Winters-Johnson admitted Wednesday that she’d been wrong to drag a special education student by the hair across the gym floor at Greenville High School. Source
  • New York restaurant threatened by Pizzagate hoax callers

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A popular New York restaurant has become the latest victim of a fake-news conspiracy about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizza joint. Roberta's, a Brooklyn restaurant known for its wood-fired pizza, received telephone calls threatening its employees, police confirmed on Wednesday. Source
  • Mom on the run

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    She’s Canada’s most wanted fugitive. But she’s also mom — one whose family insists she’s not a criminal but just trying to protect her nine-year-old daughter. Child abductor or protector? However it’s sorted out, the manhunt is on for Allana Haist. Source
  • New trial order for mom accused of having sex with kids' underage friend

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial for a woman accused of having sex with the underage friend of her teenage children. The order was made after the Crown appealed a Court of Queen's Bench ruling that acquitted Barbara George, who was 35 at the time, of sexual assault and sexual interference. Source
  • Ohio House committee approves 20-week abortion ban

    World News CTV News
    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Abortions would be banned after 20 weeks under a bill that Republican lawmakers hope to pass Thursday and add to legislation already on its way to GOP Gov. John Kasich that would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Source
  • Trump's China ambassador pick member of Freemasons, banned in China

    World News CTV News
    OMAHA, Neb. -- If Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad becomes the next U.S. Ambassador to China, he may want to leave any Masonic symbols at home. That's because the Freemasons group that Branstad belongs to has been banned in mainland China for decades. Source
  • Dolly Parton organizing telethon for Tenn. wildfire victims

    World News CTV News
    NASHVILLE -- Country icon Dolly Parton has organized a musical telethon to raise money for victims of the Tennessee wildfires that destroyed more than 1,700 homes in the resort town of Gatlinburg. The event, which will air Dec. Source