( 4UMF NEWS ) Sandra Bland Family Settles Wrongful Death Suit For $1.9 Million:
The family of Sandra Bland, the woman who died in a Texas jail after her controversial arrest, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.9 million, an attorney said.
The family’s lawyer told ABC13 Thursday the civil suit has been settled, and the jail where Bland died will pay the bulk of it.
The Waller County jail is on the hook for $1.8 million of the settlement, the attorney said. The Texas Department of Public Safety will pay $100,000 — the maximum amount allowed under state law.
The case was scheduled to go to a jury trial in January 2017.
Bland, 28, died in the jail in July 2015, days after her arrest after a traffic stop. A medical examiner, as well as the FBI, said she committed suicide by asphyxiating herself with a plastic garbage bag behind bars.
But Bland’s family has said she may have been murdered, and would not have killed herself. No investigation has substantiated their claim.
Bland was arrested while driving from her home in Illinois to a job interview at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University in Texas.
State trooper Brian Encinia stopped her for switching lanes without signaling, but their encounter escalated into a tense conflict, as seen in dash cam footage from his car. In the video, Encinia is seen pulling Bland out of her car and pointing a Taser at her.
After an investigation, Encinia was moved to administrative duties, and later fired following an indictment on perjury charges. He pleaded not guilty.
Encinia is white and Bland was black, and her death fueled fierce national debates about police treatment of minorities.
The Bland family attorney could not immediately be reached by the Daily News. The jail and the Texas Department of Public Safety did not immediately comment on the settlement.