HEMPSTEAD, Texas – A Waller County grand jury indicted a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper on a misdemeanor count of perjury in connection with the arrest of Sandra Bland.
UPDATE: The DPS announced Wednesday evening they will fire Trooper Brian Encinia following his indictment on a Class A misdemeanor charge of perjury, according to the Associated Press.
Sandra Bland was the black woman who killed herself in the Waller County jail three days after being arrested by the trooper following a traffic stop.
The trooper, Brian Encinia, was indicted on Wednesday by the grand jury in Waller County. The jury began deliberations earlier Wednesday morning after breaking for the Christmas/end of year holidays.
In December, Breitbart Texas reported the grand jury had declined to indict the Waller County Sheriff or his staff.
Special prosecutor, Houston lawyer, Darrell W. Jordan, Jr., spoke with Breitbart Texas in December and said the grand jury did exactly what he thought they would do. The Houston-area lawyer pointed to the federal wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Bland family and said even the family is not alleging there was a homicide.
Breitbart Texas previously reported that Trooper Encinia stopped Bland after she ran a stop sign in front of him and then changed lanes without signaling as his vehicle approached hers. He told her the reason for the stop was the improper lane change and said he was about to give her a warning ticket, according to the dashcam video released by the Texas DPS. The situation escalated after Bland refused to put out a cigarette per the officer’s instructions. Bland’s death in the jail was ruled a suicide by a medical examiner.
Paul Looney is a Houston area lawyer who was appointed by the sheriff to select a commission to look into the jail procedures and other issues at the county. The commission was not created to look into the Sandra Bland matter.
In December he told Breitbart Texas, “the only issue that remains is Officer Encinia.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2