Cop in Sandra Bland Case Was Once Warned for 'Unprofessional Conduct'

Illustration for article titled Cop in Sandra Bland Case Was Once Warned for 'Unprofessional Conduct'

Recently released documents show that Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland after pulling her over for failing to signal during a lane change, was once given a warning for “unprofessional conduct.” The disciplinary citation occurred last year, when Encinia was still a probationary trooper.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Texas Department of Public Safety released Encinia’s personnel file, reports The Guardian. An evaluation from the months of September and October 2014 cites a note that Encinia was issued “a written counseling for unprofessional conduct.” The incident occurred at a school in Austin, but no additional details were provided. The evaluation stated, “In the future, Trooper Encinia should conduct himself at all times in a manner that will reflect well upon himself, the department, and the State of Texas. This supervisor will ensure that this is done by meeting periodically with Trooper Encinia.”

The mysterious circumstances surrounding Sandra Bland’s case and her death, which occurred while in custody at Waller County Jail, leave many unanswered questions. 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.


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It feels like the coverage of this case has consistently conflated what happened at the stop, and what happened at the jail.

The officer that pulled Bland over obviously acted unprofessionally, and probably illegally and deserves to be punished.

Isn’t what happened in the station a completely different issue that doesn’t involve the arresting officer in any way, or have I missed an important fact in the case?