Officer Who Arrested Sandra Bland Suspended

by Melanie Schmitz

Waller County officer Brian Encinia, who arrested 28-year-old Sandra Bland on July 10, has been suspended pending a full investigation behind Bland's subsequent suicide while in custody just days later. According to authorities on Friday, Encinia, a Texas Ranger, had been re-assigned to "administrative duties" until cleared of any wrongdoing. Officials on the case further detailed that they had uncovered unusual "violations" in procedure by officers involved with Bland's initial arrest.

"We have identified violations of the department's procedures regarding traffic stops and the department's courtesy policy," said the Texas Department of Public Safety in an updated statement later on Thursday. "Pending the outcome of the Texas Ranger and FBI investigation into this incident, the employee involved has been assigned administrative duties [and] at the conclusion of this investigation, any violations of protocols will be addressed."

The District Attorney and Department officials, they added, had thoroughly reviewed a video of the incident themselves, and had requested the help of forensic analysts as well.

Bland, a Chicago area resident, was arrested on Friday July 10 after being pulled over in Waller County, Texas for a routine traffic violation. Encinia alleged that Bland had "assaulted" officers and later booked her into the Hempstead County jail. On Monday morning, officers found her hanging in her cell, citing "self-inflicted asphyxiation" as her official cause of death.