Thursday, July 28, 2016
ACCUSATIONS RE HANDLING OF GRAND JURY WITNESS IN SANDRA BLAND DEATH CASE.
The grand jury clause of the Constitution, and that of many state constitutions was designed to provide citizens grand jurors as a shield against corrupt or politically or personally motivate prosecutors. It is now run by and manipulated by police and prosecutors in too many cases.
This particular allegation of a scandal involves allegations that the prosecutor deliberately attempted to manipulate the Sandra Bland case.
"A Central Texas police officer was not allowed to testify to a grand jury about the arrest of Sandra Bland — who died in custody last year — despite witnessing the incident, an activist said Tuesday.
DeWayne Charleston, a former justice of the peace in Waller County, released a recording he made earlier this year of a conversation with Prairie View police Officer Michael Kelley, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Bland, 28, was pulled over July 10, 2015, in Prairie View and was arrested after a heated exchange with Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia.
She died three days after being booked into the Waller County Jail. Medical examiners ruled her death a suicide, and her death sparked national outrage.
Charleston said that, in the recorded conversation, Kelley told him that he heard Encinia say he hadn't decided what charge to book Bland on, even though he had already detained her.
"He 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,'" Charleston said.
Kelley told Charleston an official at the district attorney's office threatened him with retaliation when he said he wanted to tell what he had heard.
"I wanted to testify on Sandra Bland's behalf, and they told me if I said anything they're going to come after me," he said in the recording.
Kelley also told Charleston that he submitted a written statement about Bland's traffic stop to his chief, but it was not in the official DPS report about the incident.
Charleston said the conversation indicated a cover-up by Waller County officials.
"He was a police officer on the scene," Charleston said Tuesday. "He was willing to cross the blue line."
Encinia was fired from his job and has pleaded not guilty to a perjury charge.
Kelley has been charged with official oppression in an unrelated incident stemming from his use of a Taser on a City Council member who reportedly wasn't following police instructions. A grand jury declined to indict the council member on a charge of resisting arrest."
This need to be seriously investigated--by the F.B.I.