Sandra Bland's family reaches $1.9M settlement in wrongful death civil suit
Settlement includes changes to jail procedures
WALLER COUNTY, Texas – The family of Sandra Bland has reached a $1.9 million settlement in its wrongful death civil suit, the family’s attorney said.
The settlement includes compensation for Bland's death as well as several changes to jail procedures in Waller County, Texas, where Bland died. Those changes include additional training for jail employees, adding on-duty medical staff and implementing electronic cell checks.
The details of the settlement were finalized Wednesday night, attorney Cannon Lambert said.
Bland’s mother and attorney both said they pushed for those policy changes.
"Sandy is no longer here, and the provisions wouldn't help her, but they will certainly help millions of other people," said Geneva Reed Veal, Bland’s mother. "So, it's never been just about Sandy.”
Bland’s family began the suit after she died in July 2015 in Waller County Jail.
While the Waller County Sheriff’s department was not able speak on the settlement, its attorneys released the following statement:
"A potential settlement agreement has been reached, but is not yet final. The parties are still working through a few details. In addition, the potential settlement must be approved by the Waller County Commissioner's court, which has not yet occurred. The parties also agreed in writing that the potential settlement was to remain confidential until finalized, after which time it would be public record. The Waller County defendants intend to honor this commitment. The Waller County defendants also emphasize they vigorously deny any fault or wrongdoing, and the potential settlement does not involve any such admissions. Although the settlement amount is confidential until approved, it does not involve the expenditure of any County funds, other than a modest $1,000 deductible. Once the settlement is final, the County will be issuing a formal press release."
Bland’s death was ruled a suicide after she was found in a Hempstead jail cell hanging from a cell partition.
Her death came three days after she was arrested by a Texas state trooper who pulled her over for failure to use her turn signal.
Her family maintained that Bland did not kill herself.
Dashcam video of her arrest and the circumstances of her death provoked national outrage.
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