Texas attorneys want Sandra Bland wrongful death suit tossed

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

HOUSTON -- State attorneys want a federal judge to throw out a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the Texas Department of Public Safety and a state trooper by the Chicago-area family of a black woman found dead two months ago in a Texas county jail.

PHOTOS: Sandra Bland investigation

Sandra Bland died in her Waller County jail cell July 13, three days after a confrontation with the white officer. Authorities say she committed suicide.

On Aug. 4, Bland's mother sued the state police agency, Trooper Brian Encinia, Waller County and two jail employees.

The Texas Attorney General's office Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge David Hittner to dismiss the complaint, arguing the police agency has constitutionally protected immunity and Encinia has qualified immunity. State lawyers also contend the lawsuit raises vague and insufficient allegations of civil rights violations.