Sandra Bland’s family reaches $1.9 million settlement with Texas authorities

Sandra Bland (Courtesy Ashley Anderson via CBS affiliate KHOU)

HOUSTON, Texas (CBS NEWS) — The family of Sandra Bland has reached a settlement in its federal wrongful death lawsuit against Texas authorities, the family’s attorney confirmed to CBS News on Thursday morning.

Attorney Cannon Lambert confirmed the combined settlements with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Waller County jail will pay the family $1.9 million.

Bland, a Prairie View A&M University graduate, died in the jail in 2015, CBS DFW reports.

The 28-year-old woman had been pulled over by Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia. The traffic stop became heated when Bland refused the officer’s request to put out a cigarette and his subsequent order to get out of the car.

Encinia threatened to shoot Bland with a stun gun unless she obeyed his order and said she kicked him during the tussle.

Bland was later taken to the jail in Hempstead, where she was later found hanging from a cell partition.

As part of the settlement, the jail will have an on-duty nurse and emergency medical technician for all shifts going forward, Lambert told CBS News.

Also, the Walter County judge will seek passage of state legislation that will fund improvements in intakes, bookings, screenings and jail support, Lambert said. Any legislation that may pass will be named in Bland’s honor.

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