The Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland was indicted for perjury

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

A grand jury has indicted the Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland—the 28-year-old woman who was found dead in her cell three days after the incident—for perjury. If found guilty, Brian T. Encinia will face at most a year in jail and a fine of $4,000, the New York Times reports.

According to KXAN, jurors did not believe that Encinia was being honest when he explained in an interview why he instructed Bland to leave her car. The Times offers more detail:

The question of criminal charges against Trooper Encinia was believed to be the last major issue before the Waller County grand jury, which began its investigation in August, special prosecutors Darrell Jordan and Lewis White told reporters outside the Waller County Courthouse earlier on Wednesday. Earlier, the grand jury declined to indict any of Ms. Bland’s jailers in connection with her death on July 13, effectively sustaining the medical examiner’s ruling of suicide.


Bland's death was rule a suicide, but the circumstances of her arrest were troubling. Footage shows Encinia repeatedly refusing to answer Bland when she asks why she is being arrested, and threatening to tase her. She was taken into custody for allegedly switching lanes without signaling.

Of the three officers possibly implicated in her death, only Encinia was indicted by a grand jury. Along with others, Bland's death sparked protests over police treatment of black Americans.


Bland's family has filed a wrongful-death suit.

Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.