The police officer who pulled over and arrested Sandra Bland, setting off a chain of events that would eventually end with her death in a jail cell, is now officially no longer a police officer.
The Texas Tribune reports the Texas Department of Public Safety has formally fired Brian Encinia following a weeks-long review process for a series of violations of department policy in Bland's arrest as well as a pending perjury indictment.
Encinia was responsible for pulling over Bland for an improper lane change and then arresting her on charges of assault last July. Bland would be found dead in her jail cell three days later, with suicide listed as the cause of death. She was one of five black women to die in police custody in the U.S. that month.
The department's statement of charges against Encinia lays down three allegations against Encinia:
- He failed to exercise patience and discretion during his contact with Bland.
- He extended her detention without any legitimate reason to do so.
- He failed to follow the department's seven-step violator interview.
Video of the traffic stop in Prairie View, Texas, shows those are all very dry descriptions of what actually happened when Bland was pulled over. Encinia at one point daws a stun gun and says, "I will light you up" to Bland.
The statement of charges against Encinia also cites his January indictment for perjury relating to his statements about the incident. Encinia had previously claimed Bland was "combative and uncooperative." He is set to be arraigned on that charge on March 22.