A Texas Cop Alleges He Was Kept From Testifying In The Sandra Bland Case
Sandra Bland’s death in a jail cell three days after her arrest is one of the most tragic and terrible stories, and it’s getting worse. Now, a Texas cop has alleged a cover-up in the Bland case, saying he was told not to testify despite having information about her arrest.
Prairie View Police Officer Michael Kelley witnessed the arrest of Bland and told DeWayne Charleston, a former justice of the peace in Waller County, that the arresting trooper, Brian Encinia, said, “I have no idea what I’m going to arrest her for, but we’ll figure it out when we get to the county jail,” The Huffington Post reports. Encinia, according to Kelley, had already detained her. Charleston recorded a conversation with Kelley during which he shared this little detail and also claimed, “[Bland] had a large mark on her head. Maybe she fell when she was in handcuffs. Maybe she got kicked,” although he missed the actual arrest.
So why did the public never hear about this? According to the recording of Kelley, there were allegedly forces in play that did not want anyone to hear that information. Kelley told Charleston he wanted to testify in the case, but when he approached the prosecutors, Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam would not let him. “He told me it wouldn’t be good for my career,” Kelley reportedly told Charleston, adding that Assistant District Attorney Diepraam also threatened to put him “beneath the jail” if he went public with his story.” That’s pretty fucked up if true.
Of course, people were quick to deny these claims. Diepramm’s boss, Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis, told The Houston Chronicle that version of the story is completely false and Kelley never approached his office or any member of my staff with such claims. Mathis also implied that Kelley wasn’t out for justice, but was instead trying to draw attention away from the fact that he has a misdemeanor for using his taser on city councilman Jonathan Miller in 2015. Which is also pretty fucked up, but apparently this is just the kind of world we’re living in.
It would be a very big deal if Encinia, who was only charged with perjury, used force on Bland and purposely detained her without knowing what he wanted to charge her with. Bland’s death was deemed a suicide, but her family and much of the public don’t believe she killed herself. If there were bruises or Encinia was abusing his power, that adds to their case that there was foul play.