Charges Dropped Against State Trooper Involved in Arrest of Sandra Bland


FILE - This undated file handout photo provided by the Waller County Sheriff's Office shows Sandra Bland. The first sweeping police reforms proposed in Texas following Bland's 2015 death in a rural jail after a confrontational traffic stop would revamp racial profiling laws and officer training. But the "Sandra Bland Act" filed Thursday, March 2, 2017, faces a difficult road in the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature. One police association has already criticized the bill as misguided. (Waller County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
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Prosecutors have dropped the single charge against the Texas state trooper involved in the arrest of driver Sandra Bland, whose jail cell death in July 2015 became a flash point in the Black Lives Matter movement and led to a state law in her name.

With Wednesday’s dismissal of the misdemeanor perjury case against Brian Encinia, the ex-trooper agreed to surrender his peace officer license and not work in law enforcement, said special prosecutors Pheobe Smith and Chad Dick. The case must also permanently remain on his record.

“We understand that this is far from a perfect solution, and that many people will feel that this is an inadequate punishment, while others feel that charges should have never been filed.

Prosecutors said he lied in a sworn affidavit when he wrote that Bland, 28, had been “combative and uncooperative” after he stopped her on the outskirts of Houston and that he removed her from her car to conduct a safer traffic investigation. Dashcam video later released showed that Encinia drew his stun gun and told Bland, “I will light you up!” after she initially refused to get out of her car.

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