The ongoing developments surrounding the mysterious July death of Illinois woman Sandra Bland has exploded on the national stage, causing many to continue question just how the 28-year-old Black woman lost her life. Bland’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against State Trooper Brian Encinia, the officer who initially stopped Bland and arrested her just three days before her passing in a Texas jail cell on July 13.
Reuters reports that the family also named the Waller County Sheriff’s Office and the jail itself in the suit, essentially placing the blame of Bland’s reported self-inflicted death on the accused. The suit was filed in a federal court Tuesday, and is one of the largest moves made towards justice for Bland.
The lawsuit says Encinia “intentionally, willfully, wantonly, and unreasonably deprived Sandra Bland of her rights, privileges and immunities secured by the U.S. Constitution.”
In addition to Encinia, the suit, which was filed in Houston, names the Texas Department of Public Safety, Waller County, the county’s sheriff’s department and two jailers as defendants.
NBC News reported on the filing as well and was in attendance at a press conference featuring family attorney Cannon Lambert and Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal. Ms. Reed-Veal said she wasn’t certain of the cause of Bland’s death but did state that “she should never have been inside of the jail, period.”
Watch NBC’s report on the announcement of the Sandra Bland wrongful death lawsuit in the clip below.
Photo: NBC News