*A Waller County, TX grand jury may have failed to indict county jailers, and others in connection with the arrest and death in the Waller County jail of Sandra Bland, but the case has come back to bite the arresting officer in another way.
News One reports that Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who arrested Bland, was indicted by that same grand jury on Wednesday (Jan. 6) on a charge of perjury. Hours after the indictment, the Texas Department of Public Safety began termination proceedings.
Encinia generated national attention and headlines after video of him arresting Bland surfaced (scroll down to see the controversial arrest). The 30-year-old officer pulled over Bland for failing to signal when changing lanes and put her in jail. She was later found dead in her cell with a plastic bag around her neck.
The perjury indictment stems from accusations of Encinia lying about how he removed Bland from her vehicle. Footage from the arrest shows Encinia apprehending Bland for no reason as he is heard saying, “I will light you up!” after Bland refused to get out of her car.
The grand jury’s indictment comes after they failed to indict Encinia on murder charges related to Bland’s death. Moments after Encinia was not indicted on the murder charges, Bland’s family actively sought to have separate charges brought against the officer.
With the indictment for perjury, a Class A misdemeanor, the action carries a possible one-year prison sentence for Encinia.