The matter involving Sandra Bland and the Department of Public Safety may finally be coming to a close. Her family and the state of Texas are in the process of finalizing a settlement. Once finalized Waller County will pay the family $1.8 million. Besides, the Department of Public Safety will pay $100,000. The parties are still finalizing details of the settlement.
It all started in July last year when a DPS Trooper flagged Bland down. An argument ensued after Sandra Bland ignored the trooper’s orders to extinguish her cigarette. Officer Encinia had also asked her to get out of her car.
Video images showed the trooper pulling Bland out of her car. He also threatened to set her ablaze if she went on disobeying his orders. Encinia also said that the 28-year-old Texas resident kicked him.
After the encounter, Encinia arrested Sandra Bland and booked her. After remaining in custody for three days, Bland ‘hanged’ herself. Following a medical examination, the ruling was that she committed suicide. Her family refused to accept the medical report.
Later, Bland’s mom filed a suit citing wrongful death with the authorities in Texas as the defendants. Other than the family getting monetary compensation, Waller County and Texas DPS need to make some changes. For instance, the jail where Sandra Bland stayed must have a nurse based at the facility for 24 hours. Moreover, there will be a technician on duty at all times to handle emergency situations.
The county must also fit electronic sensors in the cells. In the meantime, the Department of Public Safety will train its troopers on conflict management. Hopefully, there will be new laws compelling all Jails in rural parts of Texas to make similar changes. Cannon Lambert, one of the family attorneys, said the new legislation would bear Sandra Bland’s name in her honor.