Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On the death of Sandra Bland

Comment left on Texas Department of Public Safety website:

Officer Brian Encinia should be fired immediately for his outrageous behavior toward Sandra Bland on July 10, 2015.

He is clearly out of control. His comment "I WILL LIGHT YOU UP" to someone who had done nothing but not use a turn signal is a clear sign that he is not mature or stable enough to be a police officer. He will go on to kill people if DPS lets him remain on duty. It is only a matter of time.

His supervisors should be fired too - they are not up to the job at all.

His behavior towards Sandra Bland was very, very disgusting and totally uncalled for. It is really unfortunate that Sandra is dead and Encinia is not. He is the one who does not deserve to live and is not a positive contributor to our country. Sandra Bland was.

I am a 60 year old white women who lives in North Carolina. I am sick, sick, sick of seeing white police officers act like such brutal animals with no common sense or decency. I am sick, sick, sick, of seeing them escape any responsibility for their actions, when they clearly should be given a trial and sent to jail. 

I will not set foot in Texas anytime soon. I find the idea of going there very nauseating. 


Email to the Waller County Sheriff's office, where Sandra Bland was imprisoned - for knowing her rights and speaking back to a police officer. She was pulled over for a failure to use her turn signal, after she pulled over to let the officer pass her. 

To whom it may concern:

I am a white women, 60 years old, who lives in North Carolina.

I am appalled at the incidents that happened at your jail.

Really, this is beyond disgusting what happened to Sandra Bland. She should never have been in jail in the first place, much less kept there for three days. Obviously, she was not given a decent level of care, if a young women like that ended up committing suicide. 

I am not convinced it was a suicide.

Sandra Bland deserved to live. Your staff and your jail are responsible for the fact that she is now dead.

I find that appalling.

Their response:

Official Press Release

Sheriff R. Glenn Smith sends his sincerest condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Ms.. Sandra Bland. 
Recently, the Sheriff's Office provided inmate processing forms to local and national media outlets. To clarify these forms, it is important we are outlining the jail booking process as it relates to inmates arriving at the Waller County Jail. Inmates are brought into the Waller County Jail intake section by the arresting officer. The arresting officer completes a jail booking-in sheet and inventories the arrestee's property. Jail staff meets with the arrestee and arresting officer and completes a screening form for Suicide and Medical and Mental Impairements form and Texas Department of State Health Services Correctional Tuberculosis form. These forms are provided to the main control supervisor prior to the inmate being accepted.
The inmate is walked to the booking area where they are processed by the booking officer. Depending on how many inmates are being processed at this time, an inmates photograph may be taken in their original clothing or the inmate may be dressed-out in orange. Their photograph is taken on the wall south of the booking officers' desk. We should note if the inmate is not standing directly in the center of the backdrop, a portion of the white wall may appear. 
At the booking desk, the inmate is asked the same questions listed on the Screening form for Suicide and Medical and Mental Impairements form. The book-in officer verbally asks these questions to the inmate, and then types the inmates' response into the computer. It should be noted that jailers are required to document answers given to them by the inmates. If the answers are different at each time, this indicates the inmate changed their answer. Ms. Bland was allowed to make a phone call at her time of booking, but we cannot release the name and details of that call. 
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards outlines how inmates are segregated in county jails. The Waller County Jail has two sections for female inmates. Due to the offense Ms. Bland was charged with, she was classified to cell#95. Cell#95 is classified as a medium to maximum security cell. Ms. Bland was classified as medium assaultive as defined by The Texas Jail Commission. At this time there were no other inmates inside cell #95, being that no other female inmates met this classification; Ms. Bland was the single occupant of Cell#95. We can confirm that Ms. Bland was offered Emergency Medical Services prior to being transported to the jail. Ms. Bland refused medical treatment. 
The Sheriff's Office will confirm that Ms. Bland, based on Jail Staff observations, was not placed on any suicide watch. 
The death of any person in the custody of any governmental entity should experience great scrutiny and be thoroughly investigated by an outside source. Sheriff Smith immediately notified the Texas Rangers who arrived within the hour. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also actively involved in this investigation. The Waller County Sheriff's Office has provided and will continue to provide any and all documentation to the outside investigative agencies. 
Sheriff Smith has asked local attorney Paul Looney to form an outside Sheriff's Commission, to take an outside view of jail procedures, evaluate personnel, discuss community relations, and any other issue this commission deems necessary. Mr. Looney has accepted the Sheriff's offer and the Sheriff looks forward to Mr. Looney's selection of committee members. 
To maintain the integrity of this investigation, the Waller County Sheriff's Office is not releasing any further information, or conducting further interviews at this time. 
Auth: R. Glenn Smith, Waller County Sheriff