Justice

Sandra Bland’s family settles its wrongful death lawsuit for $1.9 million

AP

The family of the late Sandra Bland said on Thursday that it had settled its lawsuit against those believed to be responsible for Bland’s 2015 death.

An attorney representing the family told ABC13.com that the Bland family will receive $1.9 million. The Texas Department of Public Safety will pay $100,000, while an additional $1.8 million will come from the Waller County jail where Bland was found hanged in her cell after her notorious July 2015 arrest. Medical examiners ruled her death a suicide—a theory affirmed in a subsequent investigation by the FBI and Texas Rangers. Bland’s family, however, has maintained that she would not have taken her own life, and has suggested that Waller County is partially responsible for her death.

The lawsuit, filed in August, 2015, alleged that Waller County jailers did not react to Bland’s refusal to eat while in their custody, and ignored her “uncontrollable crying.”

As a condition of the settlement with Bland’s family, emergency nurses will be added to all Waller County jail shifts, and the facility will be upgrading its electronic infrastructure to improve accountability. Additionally, Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, told ABC13 that the jail will pursue legislative funding for further improvements which, if approved, will be named in Bland’s honor.

In March of 2016, Brian T. Encinia, the Texas trooper who took Bland into custody, was formally fired, after a grand jury found him guilty of misdemeanor perjury regarding statements he made about Bland’s arrest.

At an August, 2015 press conference announcing the Bland’s family’s wrongful death suit, attorney Cannon Lambert told reporters that his clients “don’t want to see this happen to another family. It’s gotta stop.”