Trooper in Sandra Bland Traffic Stop Indicted, Fired; Mother Says, Charges Not Enough

Bernie Sanders On Sandra Bland: ‘She Would Be Alive Today If She Were a White Woman’

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The mother of Sandra Bland is speaking out against a grand jury’s decision to indict the state trooper who arrested Bland, saying that the decision is not justice, reports NBC News.

Earlier this week, a Texas grand jury indicted Brian Encinia on charges of perjury. If convicted, Encinia faces up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. However, Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said that the indictment does not equal justice.

“There should have been more,” Reed-Veal said yesterday at a news conference, referring to last month’s grand jury decision to not indict any of the officers involved in Bland’s death. “That’s not justice for me.”

On July 10, Bland was arrested during a routine traffic stop for allegedly failing to use her turn signal. She was taken to the Waller County Jail, and three days later, she was found hanging by a plastic bag in her cell. A medical examiner ruled her death a suicide, but family members say that Bland wouldn’t take her own life.

At yesterday’s press conference, Reed-Veal said that she is skeptical of the prosecutors who will handle Encinia’s upcoming case.

“Who in the heck is going to do the prosecuting?” Reed-Veal said. “Who’s going to prosecute this guy? Is it the same group of folks who selected the grand jury? I don’t trust the process.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety said that “termination proceedings” had begun against Encinia.

hortly after a Texas grand jury declined to indict any officers involved in the death of Sandra Bland, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders issued a statement condemning the decision, reports CNN.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that [Bland], like too many African-Americans who die in police custody, would be alive today if she were a White woman,” Sanders said.

Bland, 28, was found dead in her jail cell on July 13, three days after she was arrested during a routine traffic stop. Her death was ruled a suicide, but Bland’s family is skeptical.

This isn’t the first time that Sanders, who unveiled a racial justice reform plan over the summer, has spoken out on Bland’s death. In October, Sanders secretly met with Bland’s mother after a chance meeting at a D.C. restaurant, and days later, Sanders said Bland’s name during a Democratic debate.

(Bernie Sanders’ Racial Justice Reform Plan next post.)