Tag Archives: Brian Encinia

Texas State Trooper Who Arrested Sandra Bland Indicted for Perjury

The Texas state trooper who arrested 28-year-old Sandra Bland during a routine traffic stop in July 2015 was indicted for perjury charges by a grand jury on Wednesday, and will be fired by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Trooper Brian Encinia was charged with perjury for lying about his confrontation with Bland when he pulled her over for allegedly changing lanes improperly on July 10, 2015. Three days after she was arrested by Encinia during the stop, Bland was found dead in her jail cell.

[RELATED: Law Enforcement, FBI Probing Prison Death of Woman Hanged in Jail Cell]

As previously reported, the questionable circumstances surrounding Bland’s death, which was initially ruled a suicide, prompted investigations by agencies such as the Waller County District Attorney’s Office, The Texas Ranger Division of the state’s DPS and the FBI.

Special prosecutor Shawn McDonald said Wednesday that “the indictment was issued in reference to the reasoning” that Encinia removed Bland from her car.

While Encinia’s affidavit claimed Bland was “combative and uncooperative,” and that he removed her “from her vehicle to further conduct a safer traffic investigation,” McDonald said grand jurors “found that statement to be false.”

The Texas DPS responded to the news of the indictment by pledging to “begin termination proceedings” against Encinia, who has been on “paid desk duty” for the last six months.

The perjury charge is classified as a “Class A misdemeanor” with a possible penalty of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The grand jury declined to indict any of the jailers in connection with Bland’s death, upholding the ruling that her death was a suicide.

In response, Bland’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that the Waller County officials have “failed to keep them informed” about the progress of the case, and calling it a “sham of a process.”

[RELATED: Sandra Bland Dashcam Footage Appears Edited, Texas DPS Denies Manipulating Footage]

The dashcam video that was initially released by DPS appeared to show the confrontation between Bland and Encinia escalating when he told her to put out a cigarette, and she refused. He proceeded to open her car door, and at one point in the footage, he held out his Taser at her and said, “I will light you up if you don’t get out of this car.”

Following multiple accusations that the initial video was edited and manipulated, the original copy was pulled down and replaced with a video that was three minutes shorter. Texas DPS spokesman Tom Vinger claimed that the original video was not edited and insisted that uploading errors were to blame for any anomalies that appeared.

Texas DPS Replaces Original Dashcam Video Of Sandra Bland Arrest

The death of Sandra Bland, a woman found hanged in a jail cell three days after her arrest following a minor traffic infraction, has led to video footage of the arrest to fall under heightened scrutiny.

Following the release of dashcam footage capturing Sandra Bland’s traffic stop and controversial arrest, the Texas Department of Public Safety faced a swarm of accusations regarding doctoring of footage when viewers discovered inconsistencies in the video. The Texas DPS has since removed the original footage and replaced it with another video.

In the original footage, there were multiple instances in which video would appear to show looping images while the audio remained continuous. In one section of video around the 25 minute mark, the tow truck driver arriving to remove Bland’s car was seen exiting his truck, leaving the video frame, and then reappearing several times while trooper Brian Encinia continued speaking uninterrupted.

In another section of the video at approximately 32 minutes and 36 seconds into the footage, a white car was shown disappearing in the street and reappearing while the audio of Encinia speaking was uninterrupted.

[RELATED: Sandra Bland Dashcam Footage Appears Edited, Texas DPS Denies Manipulating Footage]

The original video uploaded by the Texas DPS was removed on Wednesday. However, a copy of the original from the YouTube channel of Photography Is Not A Crime is currently available to view and can be seen below:

Texas DPS uploaded a new video in its place, seen below, which is about three minutes shorter and does not show all of the reported errors. Neither video contains a visible time code.

Texas DPS spokesman Tom Vinger stated that the video was not edited and that uploading issues were to blame for the errors in the video.

“The entire video was uploaded to include the audio and video of the conversation the trooper had by telephone with his sergeant, which occurred after the arrest,” Vinger said in a statement. “Some of the video during this conversation was affected in the upload and is being addressed.”

Read more about the Sandra Bland case here.