Emily Collins reports that Sandra Bland’s mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Texas state trooper, and two jail guards in Waller County, Texas. Ms. Bland was the woman who was arrested for a traffic violation and was found dead hanging in her cell on July 13, 2015 (see LBN’s July 22, 2015 report for more details.)
The federal lawsuit, filed in Chicago, alleges that Ms. Bland should never have been arrested for failure to signal a lane change and that the jail where she was held was dangerous and lacked proper supervision. The state trooper who made the arrest, Brian T. Encinia, managed to capture the arrest on the dashboard camera of his patrol car. The lawsuit alleges that Encinia made up a reason to arrest Ms. Bland and that the jailers failed to respond properly when she refused her meals and had uncontrollable bouts of crying.
Attorney Cannon Lambert, who represents the family in the lawsuit, says that the family is looking for answers and accountability. “Obviously, because of the fact we filed suit, we have subpoena power,” Lambert says, explaining that this will permit the family to get the information, not merely request it, “and that’s really going to help a lot.” He will submit subpoenas for all police reports, DMV reports, autopsy reports, and anything else that will reveal all the circumstances of Ms. Bland’s arrest and subsequent death in jail.
The whole affair has generate many questions and limited answers.
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