5,000 signatures reached
To: DPS Director Steve McCraw
Justice for Sandra Bland
The unwarranted traffic stop and violent arrest of Sandra Bland have eroded the community's trust with the Texas Department of Public Safety, especially among African Americans. Trooper Brian Encinia targeted Ms. Bland and treated her inhumanely because of her skin color.
DPS must take immediate steps to repair and rebuild this trust.
1. Trooper Encinia should be fired immediately and stripped of all benefits. It should be clear to Texans and the remaining force that this type of racial targeting and treatment of Texans will not be tolerated.
2. DPS must improve training of its force in these three areas: de-escalation, communications and crisis intervention, and must do so in a way that is transparent.
Why is this important?
Sandra Bland was days from starting a new job with her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, when DPS Trooper Brian Encinia pulled her over, alleging she had failed to signal a lane change. The incident was so minor that Encinia was ready to end it with a written warning. But instead of giving her the warning and letting her go, in a split second Encinia became enraged that an African American woman dared exercise her rights. He then tried to pull her out of her car and threatened to taser her. “I’m going to light you up,” he said. Encinia then threw Bland to the ground and planted his knee on her back. She was arrested, and after spending three days in jail, she died in her cell.
Bland's story of being targeted by police and treated inhumanely, unfortunately, is a familiar one with Texans of color. We don't have to tolerate this. We can fight back to get the police force we deserve. A police force that keeps us safe, not one that endangers our lives. A police force that keeps our streets safe, not one that pulls us over without cause, based solely on the color of our skin. A police force that treats us all equally. By signing this petition, you're engaging in the fight for the police force we need, that we deserve.