Texas Trooper Brian Encinia was caught on camera beating up Sandra Bland last July just outside Prairie View A&M University, nine months later he has lost his job for escalating the traffic stop, unreasonably prolonging the stop and failing to follow procedure.
Encinia lied to his supervisor in the now infamous video you can see below, and was indicted by a Waller County, Texas grand jury on perjury charges this past January for lying on his police report of the incident, charging the victim Bland with 3rd degree felony assault on a police officer.
According to the “Statement of Charges” letter disclosed by Texas DPS which initiated firing the now former-Texas DPS officer Encinia, he’s been on paid administrative leave since last July until today’s “Final Termination Letter.”
Nine months after the incident, Encinia has finally been fired.
Encinia faced three major allegations from Texas DPS Director Steven C. McCraw.
The agency first cited “[the trooper] engaged in argumentative discussions with Ms. Bland and you failed to exercise patience and discretion throughout the contact.”
Continuing, the DPS accused the officer of, “prolong[ing] the traffic stop beyond the time reasonably necessary to complete the tasks associated with the traffic infraction. Consequently, you extended Ms. Bland’s detention without a reasonable justification or legitimate investigative purpose for doing so.”
The last infraction was that, “[the trooper] failed to follow the seven-step violator interview,” which is found in Texas Highway Patrol Manual, Chapter 4, Section 04.02.01 which reads thusly:
“Violator Interview: Troopers will follow the seven-step violator interview unless circumstances exist that make the use extraneous or non-applicable. The steps will be used in the following order:”
- Greeting and identification ofthe agency
- Statement of violation committed
- Identification of driver and check of conditions of violator and vehicle
- Statement of action to be taken
- Take action stated
- Explain what violator must do
Waller County’s infamous Sheriff Glenn Smith told PINAC News exclusively in August of last year that Encinia’s actions were “legal” from inside the lobby of the jail where Bland was found dead just three short days after being beaten up by the Texas trooper.
Turns out all were wrong about what was violated, but right that Encinia’s actions were wrong.
Few remember that Officer Encinia stopped in mid-police brutality to try and intimidate a citizen recording the arrest from a safe distance, and it’s disappointing that the Texas DPS failed to address that issue.
Some of Bland’s most haunting words in public were yell, “Thank you, thank you for recording, thank you,” to the young man who captured the scene, and without his quick thinking, the world may never have known that Encinia’s felony arrest was a made up lie. That citizen journalist remains anonymous to this day.
Sandra Bland’s family can never be made whole again, but they are is still fighting for justice after the 29-year-old’s untimely death in a Houston, Texas federal courtroom.