Sandra Bland’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Suit in Texas For $1.9 Million

(Source: Keith Getter / Getty)

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The family of Sandra Bland has settled a wrongful death suit with officials in Waller County, Texas, for $1.9 million, reports CNN.

The amount includes payment for Bland’s death as well as several changes to jail procedures, notes the report.  The case became a rallying call in the push for criminal justice reform after the 28-year-old Illinois woman was found dead in a jail cell, three days after she was arrested for failing to use her turn signal in July 2015. Many of the activists argued that she should not have been arrested on a minor traffic infraction or jailed in the first place.

The family’s lawyer, Cannon Lambert, said the final details of the agreement were hammered out on Wednesday night, writes CNN:

Some of the jail procedure changes included in the settlement are:

— Using automated electronic sensors to ensure timely cell checks

— Providing an on-duty staff nurse or emergency medical technician for all shifts

— Providing continuing education for jailer screening

In addition, “the Waller County judge will be seeking passage of state legislation for more funding for local jails regarding intake and booking, screening and other jail support,” the attorney said.

Brian Encinia, the Texas state trooper who arrested her, was “fired after he was indicted on a perjury charge,” notes CNN. And a Waller County jail worker admitted to falsifying log entries showing that he checked on Bland an hour before her death.

6 thoughts on “Sandra Bland’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Suit in Texas For $1.9 Million”

  1. I’ve worked in a jail, as a clerk. It takes 8 hours or more for booking process. Then, you wait another 8 hours for medical and identification process. So, between medical and identification you’re allowed to make a few phone calls (remember, Ms. Bland had recently accepted a job in Texas). And usually, someone outside the jail, has to receive your property and place any money you have on your booking number. It takes days for jailing process, and she wasn’t original from Texas, and that’s exasperating. Ms. Bland was at the mercy of this corrupt system, and wasn’t accustom to the process. Her family was doing everything possible to get her out of jail, which is difficult, even if you live in town. PEACE FOR THEIR FAMILY.

  2. My feelings at this point are mixed and I think it’s a good and wise thing that procedures and police conduct were scrutinized which resulted in some changes. My concern is that, this young woman, Ms. Bland became despondent when her family did not respond to her initial requests and it was apparent that she was given access to the phone. A cellmate indicated that she cried quite a bit and wondered why her family didn’t return her calls and felt, frankly, abandoned. Given, where she was stopped and the history of that small town, efforts should have begun to get her out asap and not the morning she was scheduled to go before a judge not knowing if her family would be there or not. It was reported that a family member spoke of Sandra’s “mouth” and I wonder if there was delay to teach her lesson which backfired on all of them. My heart goes out to Sandra and her demise as she attempted to move on with her life and after hearing the message she left her mother; there was hope for her full recovery. Also, her mother traveling the country and campaigning for Hillary Clinton was puzzling to say the least. It’s a shame that Sandra will not be able to share in the settlement for had she not died, her case for a bogus traffic violation charge may have guaranteed some compensation especially after the world viewed the arrest and how that was handled. God Bless Ms. Bland’s soul and I truly hope that she is resting in peace and love.!

    1. I don’t know the specific phone situation in this jail, but when my boyfriend was in county jail for 8 months in California a few years ago, it was extremely difficult to have phone contact. You can’t just call the jail; there’s a private company that handles the phones, and you have to buy their phone cards to give your loved one access to the phone. Other details I don’t remember right now, but there are similar difficulties getting food and toiletries to someone in jail. You have to work through ONE company that controls it all, has few good options, and everything is very expensive. Also, you can’t just mail books to your loved one. They have to be shipped from a company such as It’s such a racket. And periodically the jail guards would do a sweep and simply seize and throw away reading material, no matter how innocuous. There are so many ways great and small that jails make life unnecessarily hard for those caught up in the so-called justice system. The larger injustice of being wrongfully arrested obscures the smaller issues, but they also make life that much harder for those in jail, whether they “deserve” to be there or not.

  3. It is a sad day. Racism is a two way street. I am not excusing the police officer nor the others involved in cover up. What is blatantly evident is the violation of the person’s Miranda rights; the extreme response to a minor misdemeanor; and violation of due process. What a shame and what a tragedy.

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