Showing posts with label Sandra Bland case. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sandra Bland case. Show all posts

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sandra Bland's Family Reaches Tentative $1.9M Settlement in Lawsuit

The family of Sandra Bland, an African-American woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell after her arrest following a traffic stop, has reached a tentative settlement of its wrongful death lawsuit, according to the family's attorney and officials in Waller County, Texas.

Cannon Lambert, the lawyer representing Bland’s family, told ABC-owned station WLS in Chicago today that a $1.9 million settlement was reached in the family's civil suit against the Texas Department of Public Safety; Waller County, Texas; and some county employees including two former jailers.

Waller County released a statement by its attorney Larry Simmons that a potential settlement agreement has been reached but that a few details remain to be worked out and the final deal must be approved by the county commissioners. "The Waller County defendants ... emphasize they vigorously deny any fault or wrongdoing," the county's attorney said.

Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said the most important part of the tentative settlement is the changes that Waller County would make to its jailhouse procedures.

“Obviously, it will never bring Sandy back,” Reed-Veal said in an interview with WLS. But, she added, “I feel so excited that now we have real change that’s about to happen right there in Waller County. I believe it will affect many, many other places across the country. It’s a victory for mothers.”

Lambert said that under the settlement Waller County must provide emergency nurses during all shifts at the jail; use automated electronic sensors to ensure accurate and timely checks on all occupied jail cells; and actively seek passage of state legislation that would provide greater funding for the intake and screening of county jail inmates and for other supports for local jails.

Of the $1.9 million agreed to in the settlement, Waller County will be responsible for the bulk of it, $1.8 million, Lambert told WLS. The Texas Department of Public Safety is limited by state statutes to paying no more than $100,000 under such lawsuits, he said.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Was there a cover-up in the Sandra Bland Case?

A police officer who witnessed Sandra Bland's traffic stop said the Waller County district attorney would not let him testify before a grand jury about facts favorable to Bland, a community activist and former Waller County justice of the peace said Tuesday.

The officer - whose comments over the telephone with activist DeWayne Charleston were recorded said an official with the district attorney's office then threatened to retaliate against him if he went public with his story.

"This is what happens when you try to cross the thin blue line," Charleston said.

"He says Brian Encinia made sure he was not in ear shot of the car. He turned off his own microphone so no one would hear. And then he called his supervisor. He said, 'I have no idea what I'm going to arrest her for, but we'll figure it out when we get to the county jail,'" Charleston said Monday.

Kelley says on the recording he tried to share what he'd heard with an official at the district attorney's office.

"I wanted to testify on Sandra Bland's behalf and they told me if I said anything they're going to come after me," he said in the recording.

"He [Kelly] told me a lot of stuff," Charleston explained, "but the most important is this bit about him being on the scene and making a request to testify and being denied."

In addition, Kelly apparently told Charleston in the audio that a written statement he submitted to the Prairie View police chief never made it into the official DPS report about Bland's traffic stop for changing lanes without signaling.

Charleston said Kelley said on the recording that he offered to testify but that the Waller County District Attorney did not return his call.

Read more: Prairie View officer says DA wouldn't let him testify about Sandra Bland traffic stop

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Trooper who arrested Sandra Bland formally fired

A Texas state trooper indicted over the arrest of a black woman who was later found dead in a jail cell was formally fired on Tuesday. Watch the story below.