By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
The Texas trooper, Brian Encinia, who pulled over Sandra Bland and arrested her under false pretense, has finally been fired according to media outlets. Brina Encinia was indicted on perjury charges related to confronting Sandra Bland in an alleged traffic-related stop on the outskirts of Dallas, Texas last summer. In December 2015, a grand jury found him guilty of lying about the encounter which was captured on police dashcam video.
Sandra bland was arrested in July 2015, and taken to Waller County jail and three days later was found hanging in her jail cell. Her death sparked national and international outrage and became part of the national conversation about police brutality directed towards peoples of color; particularly, Black people.
While the case was being investigated by local and federal officials, Brian Encinia remained employed with the Texas Troopers on paid desk duty. The grand jury last month tied its perjury indictment of Encinia to his statement in an affidavit where he said Bland was “combative and uncooperative” after he stopped her and that he removed her from her car to further conduct a safer traffic stop.
Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, after meeting with Encinia this past December, decided to terminate him according to a termination letter signed by Encinia yesterday. Texas state’s Public Safety Commission, Department of Public Safety spokesman, Tom Vinger, said he is now no longer a paid employee and will remain that way even if he appeals his dismissal.