State trooper in Sandra Bland case indicted on perjury charges

Sandra Bland, Texas, Hillary Clinton

The Texas state trooper who pulled over and arrested Sandra Bland, a black woman who was later found hanged in her prison cell, has been indicted by a grand jury on a perjury charge.

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The misdemeanor charge against Trooper Brian Encinia carries the possibility of a year in jail and a $4,000 fine, prosecutors said at the end of a day of grand jury deliberations, according to The New York Times.

The charge stemmed from a probable cause affidavit Encinia filed with jail officials justifying Bland’s arrest.

The trooper wrote that he removed Bland from her car in order to conduct a safe traffic investigation, but “the grand jury found that statement to be false,” special prosecutor Shawn McDonald said.

A dashboard-camera video of the incident shows Encinia threatening to use a taser against Bland after she exited her vehicle, saying, “I will light you up.” He was placed on administrative duty after Bland’s death.

The question of criminal charges against Encinia was believed to be the last major issue before the grand jury.

The jury declined to indict any of the Waller County jailers, agreeing with medical examiners who ruled Bland’s death a suicide.

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