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Family of Sandra Bland reach $1.9 million settlement

SETTLEMENT: Sandra Bland

THE FAMILY of Sandra Bland has reached a $1.9 million (£1.4 million) settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against Texas authorities, their lawyer told CNN yesterday (Sep 15).

The settlement, which comes more than a year after the 28-year-old’s death, includes compensation for her passing in custody as well as several changes to jail procedures in Waller County, Texas.

Bland was found dead in her Waller County jail cell three days after she was arrested for failing to use her turn signal in July 2015. The stop resulted in a heated exchange with state trooper, Brian Encinia.

Their exchange escalated into a verbal and physical conflict, and Encinia forced her out of her car and threatened to tase her. In a video of the stop, Bland can be heard screaming in pain.

The details of the settlement were finalised Wednesday night, attorney Cannon Lambert said.

Lambert told CBS News that there is an agreement with the Texas department of public safety and Waller County to bring an end to the federal civil rights action, which had been scheduled for trial in January.

Authorities ruled her death a suicide which incited intense protests and rallies among Black Lives Matter activists, who questioned the circumstances surrounding her death.

Waller County police received much backlash after reports showed that the guard neglected to do regular checks on the inmates.

Along with the settlements, some of the jail procedure changes introduced are the use of automated electronic sensors to ensure timely cell checks, providing an on-duty staff nurse or emergency medical technician for all shifts and providing continuing education for jailer screening.

Encinia has since been fired for assaulting an officer.

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