December 22, 2015 / 5:05 AM / 4 years ago

Texas grand jury issues no indictments in case of woman found dead in jail

Demonstrators hold signs of Sandra Bland and Kindra Chapman, both of whom died in custody, during a rally against police violence in New York July 22, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - A Texas grand jury decided on Monday not to issue indictments relating to the death of an African-American woman who died by hanging in an apparent suicide in her jail cell, a special prosecutor said.

A Waller County grand jury also decided not to indict any members of the jail staff in the case of Sandra Bland, 28, who was found dead in her cell three days after being jailed for a traffic stop this summer, said Darrell Jordan, a special prosecutor in the case.

The grand jury will reconvene in January to deliberate other matters in the case, Jordan said.

In August, the family of Sandra Bland filed a wrongful death suit against a Texas trooper, a sheriff’s office and her jailers, accusing them of being responsible for her hanging.

Bland was pulled over in her car on July 10 by state trooper Brian Encinia for failing to signal a lane change in Prairie View, about 50 miles northwest of Houston.

The stop escalated into a verbal altercation after Encinia asked Bland to put out a cigarette and she refused. Bland was arrested and charged with assaulting an officer, a felony.

The discovery of Bland’s body in her cell three days later with a trash bag around her neck raised suspicions of racist treatment.

Local officials have said she was not mistreated in jail.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee

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