Texas attorneys want Sandra Bland wrongful death suit tossed

Protesters prayer at rally outside the Waller County Courthouse after a march from the Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, Friday July 17, 2015, to protest the death of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in the jail. Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said there were no cameras in Bland’s jail cell to show if the Illinois woman hanged herself in the lockup as a medical examiner has ruled. Her relatives and supporters dispute the finding. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) — State attorneys want a federal judge to throw out a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the Texas Department of Public Safety and a state trooper by the Chicago-area family of a woman found dead two months ago in a Texas county jail.

Sandra Bland died in her Waller County jail cell July 13, three days after a confrontation with the officer. Authorities say she committed suicide.

On Aug. 4, Bland’s mother sued the state police agency, Trooper Brian Encinia, Waller County and two jail employees.

The Texas Attorney General’s office Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge David Hittner to dismiss the complaint, arguing the police agency has constitutionally protected immunity and Encinia has qualified immunity. State lawyers also contend the lawsuit raises vague and insufficient allegations of civil rights violations.

 

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