Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Texas trooper indicted over Sandra Bland stop formally fired

03 March 2016, 18:25

Austin — A Texas trooper indicted over his arrest of a black woman who was later found dead in jail has been formally fired, three months after his bosses first announced they would do so, state officials said Wednesday.

Former Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia can still appeal the decision to fire him, which came after a grand jury indicted him on a perjury charge in December. He's accused of lying about his July 2015 arrest of Sandra Bland and their confrontational traffic stop that was caught on dashcam video.

Encinia met last month with Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, but their conversation gave the agency leader no reason "to alter my preliminary decision," according to a termination letter signed by Encinia on Wednesday.

Encinia's attorney, Larkin Eakin, did not immediately return a phone message. He has previously called the indictment unjustified and said Encinia was looking out for his own safety.

Bland's family sued after the 28-year-old black woman died last summer in jail following her arrest on the outskirts of Houston. Her death was ruled a suicide. The case provoked national outrage and drew the attention of the Black Lives Matter movement, with protesters linking Bland to other black suspects who died in confrontations with police or while in police custody.

Also read: Man charged with murder in Texas camp killings

Encinia had been on paid desk duty since Bland's arrest and remained on the payroll after McCraw announced in December that the agency would begin the process of firing him. He is now no longer a paid employee and will remain that way even if he appeals his dismissal to the state's Public Safety Commission, Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said.

Dashcam video from Encinia's patrol car shows the traffic stop quickly became confrontational. The video shows the trooper drawing his stun gun telling Bland, "I will light you up!" after Bland refuses to get out of her car. Bland eventually steps out of the vehicle, and Encinia orders her to the side of the road. The confrontation continues off-camera but is still audible.

Bland was arrested for assault and taken to the Waller County jail. Three days later, she was found hanging from a jail cell partition with a plastic garbage bag around her neck.

Bland's family has said they were working to get about $500 for her bail when they learned of her death.

A grand jury last month tied its perjury indictment of Encinia to his statement in an affidavit where he said Bland was "combative and uncooperative" after he stopped her and that he removed her from her car to further conduct a safer traffic investigation.

- AP


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...