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LISLE, Ill. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Vigils and ceremonies are planned to make the one-year anniversary of the death of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in a Texas jail cell after a traffic stop.
Bland died a year ago Wednesday after Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia pulled her over three days earlier. The traffic stop became heated when Bland refused the officer’s request to put out a cigarette and his subsequent order to get out of the car. Trooper Encinia threatened to shoot Bland with a stun gun unless she obeyed his order and said she kicked him during the tussle.
Bland was later taken to the Waller County jail in Hempstead, where she was found hanging from a cell partition. Bland had been moving to Texas from the Chicago area for a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. A medical examiner ruled it a suicide. Dashcam video of her arrest and the circumstances of her death provoked national outrage.
Trooper Encinia was initially placed on paid administrative leave but was later fired for lying in his police report.
A vigil is planned Wednesday evening in Chicago’s Federal Plaza to mark the anniversary of Bland’s death. And the suburban Chicago church where Bland grew up plans candle-lighting ceremonies Sunday.
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