Sandra Bland’s sister calls charge against state trooper ‘bittersweet’


Sandra Bland was a black woman who was falsely accused of a crime by Texas state troopers and died in jail three days later. However, after investigations were carried out, it was brought to notice that the claims laid against her were false, and this has led to the indictment and anticipated firing of the Texas state trooper responsible.

Sandra Bland’s sister, Sharon Cooper, expressed her feelings on Wednesday to the Associated Press, stating that the “perjury charge” against Trooper Brian Encinia is well deserved and has long been destined to happen. But she went further to express her sadness, stating that no matter the punishment or charge against him, it will never be equal to the loss experienced in her family.

Sandra Bland was stopped by Trooper Brian Encinia due to failure to obey traffic rules. Bland was jailed, and after three days, she was found dead in her cell. The county coroner ruled the death to be a suicide.

According to Sandra Bland’s sister Sharon, her sister saw a sad end due to the encounter she experienced with Trooper Brian Encinia, which “largely impacted” her negatively. She lamented the fact that “It could easily have been avoided.”

Trooper Brian Encinia had an indictment placed on him on Wednesday after allegations were made that he told a lie when he clearly mentioned in the affidavit that Sandra Bland was being “combative and uncooperative” after pulling her over during the traffic stop that took place in July, before ordering her to step out of her car.

The prosecutor for the case, Shawn McDonald, said on Wednesday night that the grand jury had a close look at the affidavit before charging Trooper Brian Encinia with perjury.

Encinia has not yet been taking into custody, neither has a date for his arraignment been announced. However, when reporters tried to reach Encinia for comments, he could not be reached, as his cellphone number had been terminated.

The Texas Department of Public Safety declared that it would “begin termination proceedings” against Brian Encinia moments after the indictment was issued.

After Sandra Bland’s death, activists of the Black Lives Matter Movement became furious and slammed the trooper’s actions. Fingers have been pointed by many who speculate that Sandra Bland’s death wasn’t suicide but, rather, pure murder. This was not the first time a black individual has lost his or her life after confronting the police. Others have ended up dead while in custody, for example, Freddy Gray in Baltimore and Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Canon Lambert, the attorney for Bland’s family, stated that Encinia did not quite receive all that he deserves, stating that the trooper needs to be indicted for “assault, battery or abuse of his official power.”

According to Lambert, “The public deserves accountability, if you don’t have public accountability, you don’t have public trust. I want the public to be able to trust the police.”

Both the attorney and the family of the deceased are still waiting for the authorities to hand over the records of their investigations and for people like Encinia to be dropped. According to Bland’s sister Sharon, until these things take place, her family won’t have the answers they seek.

“Our family’s grieving process is at a standstill,” said Sharon.

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