Officer Encinia’s charges are insufficient
Demand that the Dept. of Justice hold him accountable for Sandra's death.
“Our family's grieving process is at a standstill.” - Sharon Cooper, sister of Sandra Bland1
Yesterday, a Texas grand jury indicted State Trooper Brian Encinia- the officer who arrested Sandra Bland- for misdemeanor perjury, the lowest level crime that he could have been indicted for. Because of the indictment, Encinia is in the process of being discharged from his job, faces a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Over 49,000 ColorOfChange and Texas Organizing Project members called for Officer Encinia to be fired. We even had a billboard erected demanding his removal. For once in this case, our voices have been heard, but a fine and a firing is not enough. And more importantly, Waller Co District Attorney Elton Mathis and the five special prosecutors assigned to this case blame Sandra’s family for their inability to afford bail and continue to prove themselves unfit to actually prosecute Encinia for his actions2.
Join over 117,000 members to urge the U.S. Department of Justice to step in and do a thorough investigation of Sandra's death to hold all those responsible fully accountable.
Officer Encinia instigated what ultimately resulted in the fatality of a Black woman who hadn’t even experienced life beyond her twenties3.Officer Encinia’s charges are insufficient and do not hold him accountable for the unjustifiable arrest and belligerent force that led to Sandra’s death. Someone needs to be held accountable.
Two weeks ago, the Texas grand jury announced their decision to not indict anyone for Sandra’s death and now, after five months, the grand jury heard evidence and deliberated for less than 6 hours before indicting Encinia with this weak misdemeanor4. Their failure to indict and acknowledge the role that Encinia and others have played in ending Sandra’s life illustrates that the Texas grand jury is incapable of ensuring that justice is served for Sandra. Therefore, it is time for the U.S. Department of Justice to step in.
Sandra's death exposes the dangerous of a for-profit bail and criminal justice system and we will continue to stand with her family to demand accountability. We hope that you will continue to stand with us.
Thanks and peace,
Arisha, Rashad, Scott, Enchanta, Josh and the rest of the ColorOfChange team
- "Sister of Sandra Bland: Charge against trooper 'bittersweet'," Chicao Tribune 1.7.2016 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5726?t=6&akid=5261.1942551.F4BIct
- "Waller County Blames Sandra Bland's Suicide on Her Family," Slate 11.13.2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5730?t=8&akid=5261.1942551.F4BIct
- "Texas Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Is Charged With Perjury," New York Times 1.6.2016 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5727?t=10&akid=5261.1942551.F4BIct
- "Grand jury decides against indictments in Sandra Bland's death," CNN 12.23.2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5728?t=12&akid=5261.1942551.F4BIct
- "Sandra Bland's Mother Files Wrongful-Death Lawsuit," New York Times 8.4.2015 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/5729?t=14&akid=5261.1942551.F4BIct
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