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'Officer' Who Made Arrest Leading to Sandra Bland's Death Previously Warned by Superiors About 'Unprofessional Conduct'

This man with a gun and a badge went berserk when Sandra Bland refused to act like a docile slave.
This man with a gun and a badge went berserk when Sandra Bland refused to act like a docile slave.

By TERRY WALLACE
The Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland after a confrontation that began with a traffic stop was once cautioned about "unprofessional conduct" in a 2014 incident while he was still a probationary trooper, according to his personnel file.
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Bland, a 28-year-old Chicago-area woman, was found dead in her Waller County jail cell in Hempstead, about 200 miles south of Dallas, on July 13, three days after her arrest. Officials say she used a plastic bag to hang herself, a finding her family has questioned. Bland's family and others also have criticized Trooper Brian Encinia, who stopped Bland for failing to signal a lane change.

The Associated Press obtained Encinia's personnel file Friday from the Texas Department of Public Safety through a Freedom of Information Act request. Encinia had been with the department for a little over a year. For the most part, his file was unremarkable. He received "competent" ratings in all of the evaluations that were released.

However, in an evaluation that covered September and October 2014, his supervisor noted that Encinia "was given a written counseling for unprofessional conduct ... for an incident occurring while at a school in Austin." The documents provided no additional details and a Department of Public Safety official did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday night.

The evaluation goes on to say, "In the future, Trooper Encinia should conduct himself at all times in a manner that will reflect well upon himself, the Department, and the State of Texas. This supervisor will ensure that this is done by meeting periodically with Trooper Encinia."

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