During an emotional press conference Tuesday, the family of Sandra Bland announced the filing of a lawsuit against officials in Texas that seeks to push the individuals involved in her jail cell death to “take accountability,” according to the family’s lawyer.
Speaking to reporters, attorney Cannon Lambert Sr. discussed the lawsuit against Texas Trooper Brian Encinia (the law enforcement officer who arrested Bland), two jailers at the Waller County jail, the sheriff of Waller County, and the Texas Department of Public Safety, USA Today reports.
“We are looking for Waller County and the individuals involved to take accountability,” said Cannon Lambert Sr., who is representing the family.
“Mr. Encinia is still employed and it doesn’t make sense that the taxpayers are paying for the type of service that he employed on July 10,” Lambert said.
“This family needs an answer to the principle question of what happened to Sandra Bland. It’s why we filed suit,” he said.
Though an autopsy commissioned by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences revealed Bland died of an apparent suicide by hanging on July 13, Bland’s family members have refused to accept the answers given by authorities involved in her arrest, making the case that Bland had no reason to commit suicide. The 28-year-old had just moved to Texas from Illinois and was set to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University.
Bland would never start that job. She was found dead in her jail cell just three days after Encinia arrested her for failure to signal while changing lanes. Disturbing video of her arrest shows how quickly Bland and Encinia’s encounter escalated after he told her to put out her cigarette. In the video, Encinia roughly handled Bland. At one point he threatened her with a Taser, although she told him she had epilepsy.
“I watched the video once. I will not watch it again,” said Geneva Reed-Beal, Bland’s mother. She said watching the video she felt “anger, disgust, disappointment and sadness. I have chosen to channel those feelings in another way. … I am angry.”
Reed-Beal wants to know: “What happened to my daughter? What happened to Sandy Bland? Where is the continual tape” to show her arrival through the day?
Bland’s death is currently being investigated by Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis with help from the FBI.
SOURCE: USA Today | VIDEO SOURCE: NDN
Bland family attorney, Cannon Lambert joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the federal lawsuit filed against Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia and Waller County Officials.
Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.
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Obama's Best Instagram Moments During His Last Year As President
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Two step! President Obama dances with his half-sister Auma Obama and President Kenyatta at a state dinner during his first trip to Kenya.
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2. Seriously, how much more down to earth can Obama and the First Lady get? Here they are rocking their alma mater t-shirts in the White House one morning.
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3. WINNING! The exact moment President Obama heard that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.
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4. Presidential Perfection! The First Family poses on the White House lawn on Easter Day 2015.
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5. Just like us! The president swats a fly in the Oval Office.
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6. Someone needs an umbrella. The president dodges a rainstorm as he addresses supporters in Nashville.
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7. The president does his best "Charlie's Angels" impression with an ensign at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement in New London, Conn.
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8. Anything you can do, I can do better. President Obama crawls around with Ella Harper Rhodes, daughter of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes.
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9. Presidential high fives for all!
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10. Like seriously, who doesn't like pizza?
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11. Checking Twitter, perhaps? #AskPotus
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12. The real presidential advisors.
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13. Two peas in a pod. The president and Joe Biden always have each other's backs.
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14. Who's got the power?! President Obama poses with another ensign at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement.
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15. Who wants to play the president in a game of basketball? Obama talks with students and law enforcement officials at a sit-down discussion at a New Jersey Salvation Army Community Center.
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16. Joking around with "Gronk," aka New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
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17. Family affair! The president, the First Lady, and presidential dogs Bo and Sunny speak to a crowd at this year's Easter Egg Roll.
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18. Are you covered? Obama puts health first...but doesn't he always? #Obamacare
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19. Who knew our president was the "baby whisperer?"
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20. It's never too early (or late) to shoot some hoops in a suit.
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21. Green tie. Must be St. Patrick's Day.
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22. Who said presidents couldn't have fun at bars? Obama throws darts at an Atlanta tavern while waiting for his interview with VICE to begin.
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23. Word is, President Obama is an avid tea drinker. Here he is sampling some Ethiopian coffee at the National Palace in Addis Ababa. Talk about authentic!
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24. Boys will be boys.
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25. We imagine Bo is politely asking POTUS to go out for just one more walk. Please??
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