Target: Texas Public Safety Director Steven McCraw
Goal: Support decision to fire officer accused of wrongfully arresting woman who died in police custody.
Sandra Bland was pulled over last July after failing to signal while making a turn. The officer who pulled her over, Brian Encinia, reportedly removed her by force from her car and assaulted her, much of which was caught on camera. He claimed that a confrontation started when she refused to put out a cigarette. She was found dead in her cell three days later, an event that sparked national outrage.
Her death was one of a handful in recent years that highlighted police brutality. Although it was considered a suicide by hanging by a coroner, all of the signs pointed to a police murder. The most obvious of which was that she was taller than the supposed thing she hung herself from. She was also a known activist against police brutality, so many people believe she was murdered and that Encinia used excessive force when he first arrested her.
Although no charges have yet to be brought up against anyone in her death, Encinia has been indicted on perjury charges. He was fired over perjury as well as failing to act courteously during the traffic stop and prolonging Bland’s detention. ForceChange demanded justice for Bland, and Encinia’s official firing and indictment is the first step in bringing the truth to her family.
Dear Director McCraw,
We are writing to thank you for firing officer Brian Encinia. The death of Sandra Bland has led to a wave of protests and demands for an explanation of the mysterious circumstances under which she died. The incident all started with Officer Encinia pulling Bland over for failing to use a turn signal before forcibly removing her from her car and allegedly using unnecessary force to arrest her.
Te decision to fire Encinia and his indictment are small justices for the family, but it is the first step in the right direction. By firing Encinia for his overreach of authority, you have shown the willingness to break precedent and follow proper procedure. So many times in recent memory we have seen officers abusing their powers and using excessive force, knowing they would evade discipline. But your commitment to doing what is right and combating injustice will hopefully set up a new precedent. We wanted to thank you for the introducing the first step to finding justice for the Bland family.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue