Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, has been indicted on a perjury charge, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Bland, an African-American woman, was found dead in her cell three days after being arrested, accused of failing to use her turn signal July 10. She was 28.
Her family has maintained she should never have been arrested and would never kill herself. Police said she hanged herself with a plastic bag in her cell. The case raised questions of excessive police force and the role of race in police interactions.
Special prosecutor Shawn McDonald said Wednesday outside the courthouse that “the indictment was issued in reference to the reasoning that (Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia) removed her from her vehicle.”
He explained the grand jury didn’t believe Encinia’s statement that he took her from the car she was driving so he could conduct a safer traffic investigation.
The penalty for perjury, a Class A misdemeanor, is up to a year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine.
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