On Monday, a Texas grand jury declined to indict anyone in the jail death of 28-year old Sandra Bland in July, 2015. Bland was found hanged in her cell in the Waller County jail on July 13, three days after being assaulted and wrongfully arrested by Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia. Darrell Jordan, one of the special prosecutors assigned to the case, told the New York Times that “the case is still open … the case is not over,” and that the grand jury would reconvene in January to discuss other aspects of the case. Although Jordan did not say what those aspects were, he did say that the grand jury’s decision not to indict was related only to Bland’s death and the conduct of the Waller County jail staff. It is still possible that the grand jury could take up the issue of Encinia’s conduct when they meet again in January.
A Texas coroner ruled that Bland’s death in the jail was a suicide. Bland’s family vehemently disagreed with that ruling, and Bland’s mother Geneva Reed-Veal filed a wrongful death lawsuit in August against the Texas Department of Public Safety, Brian Encinia, Waller County and two of its jailers. The suit is scheduled to go to trial in January of 2017.
The video of Encinia’s wrongful arrest of Bland in July 2015 is here.