Darrell Jordan, one of the five prosecutors on the Sandra Bland case, denies there being a cover-up on Bland’s death, as alleged by Bland’s family.
Jordan claims he “begged” to meet with Bland’s family during the ongoing investigation by Texas authorities and says he’s ready to answer any of the family’s questions.
However, Bland’s family has come out saying that they were never contacted during the initial probe on Bland’s death and that they don’t believe any of Jordan’s statements. They’ve also called the investigation a “farce.” Their lawyer, Cannon Lambert, points out that having the jury meet again in January to discuss other possible charges for the Texas Ranger who arrested Bland before her untimely death is just a tool to stall the case.
“They say the reason they want to reconvene in January is to examine Encinia’s conduct,” Lambert said. “There is a 52-minute video (of the arrest) that has been in existence since July 10. Why is it taking this long to determine if he violated her constitutional rights? It’s clear what Encinia did and that he lied about what he did. Now you need another month to examine a video that’s been around for five months?”
Bland’s mother and sister, Geneva Reed-Veal and Sharon Cooper, commented on their frustration and how hard it is to endure the holidays without their loved one.
“It’s really disturbing to be at the end of a secret process and then asked to trust that process,” Reed-Veal said. “Here was a young lady who was much, much more than a hashtag. Here was a young lady who was much, much more than mugshot photo…
“She died in their custody and I’m supposed to be asked to say, ‘OK, I believe everything you haven’t shown me.’ It’s kind of hard to do.”
“We are still looking at an empty chair at the table,” Cooper said, “and we are left with the very difficult task of visiting her at her final resting place to let her know she’s still in our hearts this holiday season.”
Despite the non-indictment that was announced earlier this week, the family is still urging that prosecutors press charges against Officer Brian Encinia, the ranger who arrested Bland at a traffic stop on July 10, 2015. Lambert, explains that historically, Bland’s family hasn’t had much reason to hold confidence in the decisions that have been made during the proceedings thus far. They also point out that Encinia lied about the nature of the arrest and left out important information from Bland’s intake report, as he didn’t mention their dispute over Bland’s cigarette or his threat to use a stun gun.
“This family is not unreasonable,” Lambert said. “But how should they feel confident in what these people are telling them when it’s easy to look at the evidence and investigate and come to a conclusion?”
Jordan claims that a grand jury met on three occasions before saying there would be no felony charges for the sheriff’s office or jailers.
“I cannot say what (charges) we are considering next. I can’t predict when the grand jury will make a decision. We are trying to get this case done as soon as possible.”
Texas authorities refuse to release information from the Texas Rangers’ investigation on Bland’s imprisonment, per Lambert’s request.
Encinia has been on admin duty since he came under fire for Bland’s death. It was revealed that he violated agency regulations during the stop. It was also found that the jailers who took Bland in made errors when they detained her, according to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
The trial date for the Bland’s wrongful death case has been projected for January 23, 2017.