Categories: News

Sandra Bland’s Family Settles For $1.9M In Wrongful Death

Sandra Bland‘s family has reached a $1.9 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit, the family’s attorney said earlier today (Thursday).

According to a report from ABC 13, the Texas Department of Public Safety will pay $100,000, while the Waller County jail takes up the bulk of the sum with $1.8 million.

The settlement includes compensation for Sandra’s death, as well as several changes to jail procedures in Waller County, Texas. Those changes are: providing emergency nurses for all shifts; using automated electronic sensors to ensure accurate and timely cell checks; and actively seeking the passage of additional state funds for jail intaking, inmate screening, training and additional jail support.

Sandra was stopped for failing to signal a lane change on July 10, 2015 in Waller County. She was in Texas from her home in Naperville, Illinois to interview for a job at Prairie View A&M University. She graduated from the historically black college in 2009.

Brian Encina, the state trooper that pulled her over planned on giving her a written warning, but the Department of Public Safety said he changed his mind when Sandra became uncooperative and argumentative. She was arrested and taken to the Hempstead jail, which is 60 miles outside of Houston.

While incarcerated, Sandra was found dead inside of her cell, where her death was ruled a suicide by hanging. Family and friends suspected that Sandra was murdered in jail, maintaining that she wouldn’t kill herself. The death was also an indication of the jail’s negligence, with guards violating policies by failing to do timely checks on inmates.

Sandra’s passing led to outcry across the country, with the Black Lives Matter movement protesting both her arrest and death, while the Twitter hashtag “If I Die In Police Custody” served as another means of protest.

After the FBI and Texas Rangers led an investigation, the Bland family filed their federal wrongful death lawsuit, and pushed the United Staes Department of Justice to consider their own investigation.

Encina was indicted by a grand jury on a misdemeanor perjury charge for allegedly lying about the circumstances of his arrest of Sandra, and was eventually fired following his indictment.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson
Tags: Sandra Bland

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