*The FBI’s release of a report on the Texas Rangers’ investigation into the death of Sandra Bland is welcome news to the Naperville, Ill. native’s mother.
In an interview with JetMag.com, Geneva Reed-Veal weighed in on the release as she considers it as progress towards getting a conviction for Brian Encinia, the former Texas state trooper who arrested Bland during a traffic stop in July 2015.
“As I told people in the beginning, the indictment means nothing to me. Give me a conviction,” Reed-Veal said. “We know that you can be indicted for lying [but] you need to go back into the jail because the documents that we’ve received, they contradict and there are some lies going on.”
Reed-Veal’s comments come amid U.S. District Judge David Hittner’s order for the FBI to release the report as part of a wrongful death lawsuit Bland’s family filed in Houston against Encinia and others involved in Bland’s detention after she was arrested last summer. Three days later, Bland, a black woman, died in the Waller County jail. Her death was ruled a suicide by officials. Encinia was later charged with perjury after a dash cam video of the incident surfaced of him yelling at Bland and being unprofessional towards her.
Although the FBI referenced the Texas Rangers’ report being protected under law enforcement privilege as its reason for initially refusing to hand over the document, Reed-Veal noted that officials released documents in the case that had been tampered with.
“What [authorities] submitted to the judge the last time in court was a report with all of this redaction in it,” said Reed-Veal, who has been passionately pursuing justice for her daughter since her death. “All these things were crossed out, so the judge said no you have to give me a cleaner copy. So this is what apparently will be sent to my attorney.”
According to investigators, Encinia’s actions escalated his confrontation with Bland. For Reed-Veal, Encinia’s arraignment and the release of the report are further proof that she was right in demanding justice for Bland.
“I now have received so many calls from people who have said, ‘You know what? You said it all the time. You said something wasn’t right.’ Now, the truth is about to come out.”