Sandra Bland was pulled over in her vehicle on July 10 by a white state trooper, Brian Encinia, for failing to signal a lane change. According to his file, Encinia had only one disciplinary mention during his trooper evaluation period for what is termed “unprofessional conduct” during an incident at a school in Austin, Texas; an incident for which he received written counseling and was required to have periodic supervision. Though the case is still under investigation, Steve McCraw, the director of the department of public safety, has said that Encinia violated internal policies of professionalism and courtesy during the incident.
“People’s Sheriff” David Clarkewill walk through Sandra Bland’s traffic stop “through a cop’s eyes” in his Saturday podcast. Despite this conduct that some believe contributed to Bland’s suicide three days later, Trooper Encinia’s review report cites numerous positive attributes exhibited during his evaluation. Authorities determined through an autopsy that Bland hanged herself with a plastic bag. But at a Texas State House hearing yesterday, her death was put squarely at the feet of Trooper Encinia.
The file did not contain information about the trooper’s interaction with Bland, which is still being investigated. In addition, dashcam video shows the confrontation between him and Bland quickly escalating out of control.
At one point during the encounter, Encinia pointed a Taser at Bland and said, “I will light you up”.
Encinia, 30, had been on the job for about a year when Bland’s arrest occurred.
Encinia’s most recent performance evaluation was for November and December 2014.
His bosses also praised his “good problem solving skills and judgment”, “responsibility for any failures” and “courage” in the field.
“He was a smart individual, very detail-oriented and he was just well liked by all of our members”, he said. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
Be Civil – It’s OK to have a difference in opinion but there’s no need to be a jerk.