Family of Sandra Bland reaches $1.9 million settlement in wrongful death lawsuit
posted at 1:21 pm on September 15, 2016 by John Sexton
The family of Sandra Bland has reached a $1.9 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against the Texas county where she died. CNN reports:
The settlement includes compensation for Bland’s death in custody as well as several changes to jail procedures in Waller County, Texas…
Some of the jail procedure changes included in the settlement are:
— Using automated electronic sensors to ensure timely cell checks
— Providing an on-duty staff nurse or emergency medical technician for all shifts
— Providing continuing education for jailer screening
Bland was moving from Chicago to Texas to take a job at Prairie View A&M when, in July 2015, she was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal. From the AP:
Bland was pulled over by a state trooper in Prairie View, northwest of Houston, for changing lanes without signaling. The stop grew confrontational, and the trooper, Brian Encinia, ordered her from the car before forcing her to the ground and taking her into custody on a charge of assaulting a public servant. Authorities have said Bland was unable to immediately come up with the $500 bail.
Video from the traffic stop shows Encinia drawing his stun gun and telling Bland, “I will light you up!” 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.
Bland’s death was ruled a suicide but her family has cast doubt on that conclusion. Some prominent members of the Black Lives Matter movement have suggested she was murdered. There was even a conspiracy theory circulating online which suggested Bland was already dead when her mug shot was taken by police.
Brian Encinia, the officer who arrested Bland, was fired in March.