The state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, the Chicago-area woman who three days later was found hanged in her cell at the Waller County jail, was indicted on a perjury charge.
The charge against Brian T. Encinia is a Class A misdemeanor, and was announced at the end of a day of grand jury deliberations. The charge carries a possible penalty of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine, prosecutors said. Ms. Bland’s death has helped fuel a national debate over the treatment of blacks by white law enforcement officers. Her family and a number of black leaders, including those in the Texas Legislature, have questioned the finding of suicide and denounced Ms. Bland’s treatment at the hands of the Texas criminal justice system, from the time of her arrest until she was found dead in her jail cell.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.