A day after what would have been Sandra Bland‘s 29th birthday, her mother Geneva Reed-Veal has announced that she plans to include ten additional Waller County officials in a federal lawsuit over her daughter’s death.
Bland made national headlines in July 2015 after she was found dead in her Texas holding cell three days after being pulled over for failing to use her signal to change lanes.
Initially, Reed-Veal was suing trooper Brian Encinia who arrested Bland, his agency, Waller County and two of its jailers. A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Feb. 18 in a Houston federal court.
Encinia is also in the midst of a criminal case for perjury; he failed to follow proper protocol during his encounter with Bland.
Here are the details regarding the lawsuit’s extension via Central Texas news site, WacoTrib:
“Reed-Veal has said in court papers that Encinia denied Bland her constitutional rights during the arrest, falsified the assault allegation and lied about why he removed her from her vehicle.
[Reed-Veal] alleges two screening officers at the Waller County Jail — along with 10 other jail officials, including the sheriff — neglected Bland after her booking, failing to check on her or seek medical attention once she was found in her cell.
Bland’s mother also said the county is responsible for placing her in a cell alone and where a “large garbage can, garbage bags, exposed beams, cords and other items” were available to her daughter after she had said she was once suicidal.
In the upcoming hearing, U.S. District Judge David Hittner will hear arguments over the state’s request that the case be dismissed or put on hold while Encinia’s criminal case plays out.”
Recently, Reed-Veal was also been made privy to previously unreleased audio from an interview dating back to July 2015. A Lieutenant with the Waller County Sheriff’s Office questions two inmates who talked with Sandra Bland during her time in jail.
According to the transcript obtained by ABC, the investigator only asked the inmates whether or not they smelled marijuana on Bland, much to Reed-Veal’s disappointment.
“I just felt like being in a position to interview someone directly in contact with Sandy would have been an outstanding opportunity to ask more than two questions about her,” Reed-Veal said.
She wished she could have received more details about her daughters last days.
“I mean, did she say anything about harming herself? Was she eating? Was she crying? Was she combative? These are things that you would want to know about,” Reed-Veal said. “Who did she interact with, who came in and out of her cell? What officers? How many officers?”
Supposedly, special prosecutors who were hired to investigate whether or not there was any criminal wrongdoing in Bland’s case reportedly asked the inmates more extensive questions at an earlier date. ABC could not reach a representative from Waller County to provide more details on the other interview.
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