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HEMPSTEAD (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Voters in a Houston-area county that drew national scrutiny when a black motorist was found dead in jail after a contentious traffic stop will keep their sheriff.
Unofficial election results show Republican Waller County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith won a third term Tuesday. Democrat Cedric Watson failed in his bid to become the county’s first black sheriff.
Sandra Bland, a Prairie View A&M University graduate, was pulled over in July 2015 by a Texas trooper in a videotaped stop leading to her charged with assaulting a public servant.
Video of the stop shows Encinia drawing his stun gun and telling Bland, “I will light you up!” Bland eventually steps out of the vehicle, and Encinia orders her to the side of the road. She can later be heard off-camera screaming that he’s about to break her wrists and complaining that he knocked her head into the ground.
Bland was later taken to the Waller County jail in Hempstead, where three days later she was found hanging from a jail cell partition with a plastic garbage bag around her neck. An autopsy determined Bland killed herself but her family always disputed that finding.
A judge on November 1 dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bland’s family after a $1.9 million settlement was reached with Waller County, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the now-fired trooper.
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