The one flickering ember of justice in the Sandra Bland case has been snuffed after Texas state trooper Brian Encinia managed to evade the lone criminal charge he was facing. Encinia was indicted on a misdemeanor perjury charge, which was dismissed on Wednesday (June 28).
Houston Chronicle reports:
The former Texas trooper who stopped Sandra Bland on a Waller County roadside in 2015 had the criminal charge against him dismissed Wednesday, stirring painful emotions from Bland’s family members who had hoped the case would go to trial.
State District Judge Albert McCaig Jr. dismissed a misdemeanor perjury charge against Brian Encinia, who arrested the 28-year-old after a questionable traffic stop.
She hanged herself three days later at the Waller County Jail, igniting nationwide protests over police treatment of African-Americans.
The special prosecutors assigned to the case agreed to drop the charge under the condition that Encinia, who had been terminated by the Texas Department of Public Safety, turn over his police credentials and sign a sworn statement promising not to seek work as a licensed peace officer in Texas or elsewhere.
Encinia’s attorney said that the trooper agreed to step down from police work as he began to receive death threats and even needed police protection for his family. The private prosecutor in the case assigned by the Waller County District Attorney said that the deal was made to get Encinia off the street, which was a best case scenario given the unpredictability of taking the matter in front of a jury.
Encinia entered false statements to his superiors regarding Bland’s arrest. However, he was not implicated in any way to her hanging death three days after their encounter. Naturally, the Bland family viewed the decision as unjust.
Naturally, the Bland family viewed the decision as unjust.