Sandra Bland’s Arresting Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Perjury

Sandra Bland’s Arresting Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Perjury

Brian Encinia allegedly lied about how things went down when he arrested Bland.

Published March 24, 2016

Brian Encinia’s account of how things unfolded on July 10, 2015, doesn’t seem to add up.

Still, he insisted Tuesday night that he didn’t lie under oath to a grand jury that found his statements surrounding the incident to be false.

Meanwhile, protesters outside the courthouse yelled, “Tell the truth.”

Encinia was fired from his job as a Texas trooper in January after being indicted on the perjury charge, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine, for saying that he removed Bland from her vehicle to further conduct a safer traffic investigation.

Dashcam video released from Encinia’s police cruiser showed him drawing his stun gun and yelling, “I will light you up!” at Bland, who he claimed in court was being combative.

Off-camera, Bland’s screams could be clearly heard with her saying Encinia was about to break her wrists. She could also be heard complaining about him knocking her head into the ground.

Bland’s death was ruled a suicide by hanging when she was found dead in her jail cell three days later. No one has been indicted on criminal charges for her death or arrest.

Encinia’s attorney, Larkin Eakin, said the former trooper acted properly during the traffic stop and subsequent arrest of Bland.

While his next hearing is scheduled for May, the trail in the wrongful death lawsuit Bland’s family filed against Encinia and two guards at the Waller County Jail is set to begin next year. 

(Photos from left: Courtesy of Bland family, Waller County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Written by Zayda Rivera


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