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$1.9 Million Settlement for Sandra Bland Family
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Sandra Bland

Summary: The family of Sandra Bland reached a $1.9 million wrongful death settlement after she was found hanging in her jail cell.

Over a year after the suspicious death of Sandra Bland in Waller County, Texas, her family has been awarded with $1.9 million in their wrongful death lawsuit. Bland was arrested after being pulled over by a police officer for not using her turn signal and then not obeying the cop’s directions. She was found three days later hanging in her jail cell.


See Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Sandra Bland Case.

Bland’s mother called the agreement a “joy” after a tremendous time of grief. The settlement also includes changes to jail procedures to prevent this type of incident from happening again. The family’s attorney, Cannon Lambert outlined the changes to procedure:

– The use of automated electronic sensors to guarantee well-timed cell checks.

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– Providing an on-duty nurse or medical technician to be available for all shifts.

– Giving continued education on jailer screening.

The outrage after her arrest was intense. Protesters called her arrest bias and a prime example of excessive use of force by police against black people. The dashcam footage showed the entire encounter between Bland and Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia. The conversation started out typical but grew hostile when Bland refused to put out the cigarette when asked by Encinia.

Bland said in the video, “I am in my car. Why do I have to put out my cigarette?” Encinia’s response, “You can step on out now.” Bland refused so Encinia resorted to physical force to pull her from her car and place her under arrest. He would not give Bland a reason for her arrest except to say, “I am giving you a lawful order.”

Encinia called Bland “combative and uncooperative” in the arrest warrant. He claimed that she fought back, kicking and elbowing him but he was indicted for perjury later and fired from his position.

Read Police Officer Sentenced for Excessive Force Leading to Death of Mentally Disabled.

Bland’s death was ruled a suicide but her family claims she would have never killed herself. A “special inspection report” showed that the guards did not follow policy to do timely checks on inmates. Reports show that a guard stopped and talked with Bland around 7 a.m. but the next check was not until 8:55 a.m. Policy instructs guards to have a “visual, face-to-face observation of all inmates by jailers no less than once every 60 minutes.”

A Waller Country Judge “will be seeking passage of state legislation for more funding for local jails regarding intake and booking, screening and other jail support.”

How do you think the showdown between Bland and Encinia should have gone down? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the case, read Grand Jury Indicts No One in Sandra Bland Case.



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