Trooper charged in Sandra Bland case to appeal his firing

CHICAGO (AP) - The attorney for the Texas state trooper charged with perjury in the arrest of Sandra Bland says his client is appealing his termination.

Larkin Eakin said Thursday that the termination of Trooper Brian Encinia announced by the Texas Department of Public Safety is unwarranted.

Eakin also said his client reported that Bland reached into her purse when he ordered her to extinguish a cigarette before the arrest. Eakin said the reach into Bland's purse was a move Enicinia interpreted as potentially threatening. It was at that point that Encinia threatened to use a stun gun on Bland.

Eakin said Encinia now regrets the intemperate language he used with Bland, including his threat to Bland to "light you up" with the stun gun.

The trooper is also free after posting bond.

Brian Encinia surrendered Thursday afternoon at the Waller County Jail and posted his $2,500 bond less than an hour later. He was processed in the same room where Bland was booked last summer after her confrontation with Encinia during a traffic stop.

A grand jury indicted the trooper on Wednesday on a misdemeanor perjury charge for allegedly lying about the circumstances of his arrest of Bland. If convicted he could face up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Messages left with the Encinia's attorney Thursday have not been returned.

The 28-year-old Bland was stopped in July for an improper lane change. She was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the trooper. Authorities say Bland hanged herself in her jail cell several days later.

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced after the indictment that it would begin the process of firing Encinia.

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