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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sandra Bland's Family Settles Wrongful Death Suit - $1.9 Million

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The family of Sandra Bland, the African-American woman who was arrested at a traffic stop in Texas and was later found dead in jail, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.9 million, family lawyer Cannon Lambert said.

Lambert told USA TODAY that Waller County, Texas, also agreed to "unprecedented" changes in jail procedures. The county released a statement saying a tentative settlement had been reached but denied wrongdoing in the case that stemmed from an angry confrontation caught on video July 10, 2015.
"It's not a tentative it's absolute, and we are very happy about it," Lambert said. "We were able to secure $1.9 million for the family and get historic changes, things you never see in a resolution like this."
Lambert said changes coming to the jail include using automated electronic sensors to ensure cells are regularly checked, staffing the jail with a nurse or medical technician for all shifts and providing continuing education for jail workers. He also said the county judge agreed to press for state legislation that would increase funding and training at jails across the state.
The legislation, Lambert said, would be named after Bland.
The traffic stop escalated, with Bland refusing to get out of her car and protesting her arrest. She screamed that the officer was about to break her wrists and complained that he knocked her head into the ground.
Bland was taken into custody, charged with assaulting a public servant. She was sent to Waller County Jail and held on $5,000 bail. She was found hanged in her cell three days later, and her death was ruled a suicide.
A grand jury decided not to charge anyone at the jail in Bland's death, but Encinia ultimately was charged with perjury and fired.

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