On Monday, a grand jury in Waller County, Texas declined to indict any of the employees at the country jail where Sandra Bland was found hanging in a cell from a trash bag. Today, Bland’s family says it was “disappointed” but expected this kind of “sham.”
Bland family lawyer Cannon Lambert spoke to the New York Times, saying that they had reluctantly predicted this kind of response from the Texas grand jury:
“We would like very much to know what in the heck they’re doing, who they’re targeting and if it has anything to do with Sandy and her circumstances,” Mr. Lambert said.
The Bland family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Texas and local authorities in Waller County in August, following a report from a medical examiner declaring Sandra’s death a suicide. Geneva Reed-Veal and Sharon Cooper, Bland’s mother and sister, maintain that suicide was out of the question for Sandra, but the report noted a number of cuts on her wrist.
In response to the grand jury’s decision, special prosecutor Darrell Jordan told press that “the case is still open.” The grand jury will reconvene in January on different topics of the case, including “misdemeanor matters,” according to Houston ABC affiliate KTRK.
Since first pulling over Bland last summer, Texas state trooper Brian Encinia has remained on paid desk duty. A grand jury can still indict Encinia for inciting the traffic stop that led to Bland’s arrest and, ultimately, her death.
After arriving in Texas to begin a new job at Prairie View University, her alma mater, Bland was pulled over and arrested on July 10 by Encinas, and was later found dead in a Waller County jail cell. She was 28 years old.
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Sandra Bland inside the Waller County jail in July, image via AP.