The Texas Department of Public Safety and Waller County have reached a financial settlement with Sandra Bland’s family to pay $1.9 million dollars to end their wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit in federal court.
Sandra Bland was wrongfully arrested by Texas trooper Brian Encinia and booked on a 3rd degree felony charge of assaulting the officer, when there was no probable cause for an actual arrest in the first place, an arrest which was caught on camera by a citizen journalist.
Three days later the 28-year old Bland was found dead in her cell.
In addition to settling the civil suit, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to install automated sensors to assure accurate and timely cell checks at the jail and staff an on-duty nurse around-the-clock, attorney Cannon Lambert told NBC News.
Waller County will pay $1.8 million of the cash settlement and Texas DPS will pay the rest.
As contemporaneous reports about Sandra Bland’s shocking death in jail explored, there were numerous possible causes of death related to her personal medical history and the medication Keppra which she used to control epilepsy. National medical experts agreed that it was impossible to determine if her death was suicide related to chemical withdrawal from the medication which could cause sudden unexplained death from epilepsy (SUDEP) and clinically heighten the risk of suicide. Medical experts noted that Bland could’ve easily had a concussion from the violent arrest, which would’ve made all of the above problems worse.
Due to public pressure, the Texas state police released the trooper’s dash cam video of the arrest, which showed clearly how Trooper Encinia had completed all of the necessary paperwork, and then in violation of recent Supreme Court case Rodriguez vs. US he extended the traffic stop without authority, provoked an angry response from Sandra Bland and then mercilessly beat her into submission, just slightly off camera.
Trooper Encinia remains the only official put on criminal trial for the arrest and death of Sandra Bland, ironically for perjury and not for inflicting terrible injuries upon Bland while he conducted a false arrest.