Sandra Bland’s Family Sues State Trooper, Waller County Sheriff's Office | KERA News

Sandra Bland’s Family Sues State Trooper, Waller County Sheriff's Office

Aug 4, 2015

The family of a black motorist who died while in custody says they've filed a lawsuit against a Texas sheriff's office and others because they still haven't received enough answers from authorities.

The family of Sandra Bland held a news conference Tuesday in Houston announcing the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the 28-year-old woman, who an autopsy found died by suicide in the Waller County jail July 13.

Cannon Lambert, an attorney for the Chicago-area family, says the suit is meant to hold authorities accountable and compel them to provide more answers. Authorities have said Bland hanged herself in her cell, but the family disputes the finding.

Authorities have released findings of an autopsy, surveillance video showing Bland being booked into the jail July 10, her jail intake records and other material.

But her family says more information is needed, such as full toxicology results and her time of death.

"We don't have the gastric content information," Lambert said. "We don't have the ligature. We don't have the police reports. Candidly, we don't really know the time of death."

He said they also need to know what was done to try to help her.

"We don't even know all of the players involved," Lambert said. "We don't know what the police reports reflect. We are getting bits and pieces of the toxicology report. We don't get the full toxicology report."

Since her death, authorities have released the findings of Bland's autopsy, her arrest affidavit, an initial toxicology report, surveillance video showing her in the jail, her jail intake records and the dash camera video of her traffic stop, which resulted in her arrest.

Earlier story: An attorney for the family of a black woman found dead in a Texas county jail three days after a confrontation with a white state trooper says a lawsuit will be filed against the trooper.

Attorney Cannon Lambert says Sandra Bland's family plans to file the federal lawsuit Tuesday in Houston. He says it will name Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia and others.

Officials say the 28-year-old Bland hanged herself in her cell on July 13.

She was in Prairie View, 50 miles northwest of Houston, for a job interview July 10 when she was stopped for a minor traffic infraction. Her exchange with Encinia escalated, who handcuffed her and pinned her to the ground.

Her family says was looking forward to a new job and wouldn't take her own life.

This story was provided by the Associated Press.