Text Us 24/7!

Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘Death of Sandra Bland’

The Cherokee County, Texas, Jail is Cited by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards for Noncompliance

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Cherokee County, Texas, Courthouse (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Cherokee County Jail in Rusk, Texas, was cited by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) for alleged noncompliance with jail standards. The Jail Inspection Report was released on August 30, 2017. The inspection itself took place on September 27, 2016. The alleged violation was related to intake screening in which inmates who are known to be or are observed to be potentially suicidal and/or mentally disabled are given appropriate considerations, as outlined in Code of Criminal Procedure Article 16.22. A magistrate is supposed to be notified of the information about an inmate and mental health officials are also supposed to be informed under these circumstances.

According to the TCJS, the jailer at Cherokee County Jail allegedly failed to complete the intake screening form and adhere to necessary instructions on the form with regard to the notification of a magistrate and medical personnel.

These types of measures are extremely important, to prevent jail suicides. The laws related to at-risk inmates recently changed when Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Sandra Bland Act into law in June 2017. Sandra Bland had just moved to Texas from Chicago in July 2015 when a police officer in Waller County, Texas pulled, her over for allegedly failing to use a turn signal. Her famous encounter with the officer was captured on dashcam video and was released on social media, where it went viral.

The exchange between the Waller County officer and Bland was in itself a source of social outrage, though people supported both sides of the confrontation. The entire incident took on even greater significance when Bland committed suicide in jail three days later. The Sandra Bland Act, in her honor, provides greater assurance that mentally disturbed people who are incarcerated have more help. In addition, agencies will investigate all jail deaths and police officers are required to receive de-escalation training.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,,,

A Mentally Ill Patient in a California County Jail is Allegedly Exposed to Shocking, Horrific Treatment before Dying

Friday, August 25th, 2017

The Brown County Jail located at 401 W. Broadw...

The Brown County Jail located at 401 W. Broadway, Brownwood, Texas, United States. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 22, 1983. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In news out of California this week, many have been shocked and appalled to learn about what allegedly happened to Andrew Holland in San Luis Obispo County Jail in January 2017. Holland was allegedly shackled by his arms and legs for 46 hours, naked with the exception of a mask and helmet over his face and a blanket that was on his lap but slipped off. Holland was in a cell with a glass front and was exposed to jail staff passing by during the entire episode. He got little to nothing to eat or drink and had to sit in his own filth. Allegedly, guards dumped Holland on the floor of a cell after finally unbinding him. He allegedly died within a 40-minute period because he stopped breathing. The county settled with the family for a record $5 million.

A great deal of social outrage has been directed at Central Coast County in California for the January 22, 2017, death of Holland. Holland suffered from schizophrenia. The issue of mental health problems among people who are admitted in county jails across the country is one that more and more counties are addressing. In Texas, the tragic death of Sandra Bland in Waller County Jail has resulted in laws referred to as the Sandra Bland Act. The primary focus of the new legislation is about mental health, but family members of Bland and thousands of activists claim that it is more an issue of racial profiling against African Americans.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,

30-year-old Stormye Murphey, an Inmate at Denton County Jail, is Found Dead and Suicide is the Suspected Cause

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Denton County Courts Building (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Sunday, August 13, 2017, Stormye Murphey, a Caucasian female, was booked into Denton County Jail on a charge of assault causing bodily injury. The next day, she had a an alleged “medical episode” and was transported to Medical City Denton, according to Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree. On the same day, 30-year-old Murphey was released from the hospital and booked into one of the medical units in Denton County Jail. She did not have a cellmate. On Tuesday morning, August 15, during an alleged routine cell check at 11:46 a.m., a jailer discovered that Murphey was unresponsive. She was deceased, and initial evidence indicates that suicide may have been the cause. So far, the official cause of death has not been released by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. The custodial death is being investigated by the Texas Rangers (with the Texas Department of Public Safety).  The Texas Rangers frequently investigate custodial deaths or deaths at the hands of police officers.

Murphree declined to provide further details on the nature of the medical episode that led to Murphey being transported to a medical facility. He said that their decision to monitor Murphey’s medical condition is basically standard protocol.

Jail suicides have always been a concern for those affected, but the problem has been increasingly in the spotlight ever since the death of Sandra Bland in Waller County Jail in July 2015. Her encounter with a police officer that led to her incarceration and suicide three days later has been associated with growing racial tensions across the nation. Since then, there seems to be more than the usual number of ongoing investigations, changes in legislation, disciplinary actions, and lawsuits related to jail suicides in Texas.  People have the right to reasonable medical care and to be watched, if they have suicidal tendencies, under the United States Constitution.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,,,

Police Misconduct Lawyer Amarillo – Embattled Waller County Jail in Texas is Approved for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) Program

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

English: The Waller County Courthouse located ...

English: The Waller County Courthouse located at 29.5816° -95.7617°, Hempstead, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Waller County Jail in Texas has become recognized worldwide as the place where Sandra Bland committed suicide in her cell after a controversial arrest. The death of Bland stands out as a significant turning point in the social movement to put an end to alleged racial police violence. The same jail has a record that continues to stir up negative controversy, and yet it has been approved by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take part in immigrant deportation. An agreement has been reached between Waller County and ICE to deputize two sheriffs for the immigration enforcement program 287(g). The highly controversial program gives deputies authorization to arrest and detain individuals based on their immigration status.

Waller County is now part of an aggressive immigration strategy being implemented by President Donald Trump. At least 25 other local police agencies have just been enlisted to enforce federal laws. Sources in opposition to these activities express their concern that ICE doesn’t seem to care about questionable track records among the individual law enforcement agencies they work with.

For instance, in addition to Bland’s death in 2015, other flags have been raised at Waller County Jail. In March 2017, a female prisoner was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male inmate who had been allowed to perform cleaning duties in the jail. County officials said there had not been authorization for him to engage in the cleaning work.

An inspection of the jail after that incident found the jail staff non-compliant in at least three separate areas. These violations included allowing male and female inmates in the same area without direct supervision.

ICE formally approved Waller County’s application to join the 287(g) initiative, even though the approval came within days of the assault allegations and a failed inspection.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,,

Perjury Charge Dropped Against Police Officer Who Arrested Sandra Bland

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

English: A traffic stop executed by an officer...

English: A traffic stop executed by an officer of the Durham Police Department on Gregson Street in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, a perjury charge was dropped that was brought against the officer who arrested Sandra Blanda three days before her death. She was found dead, hanging in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell a few days after being arrested following a traffic stop for an improper lane change. She allegedly got into an altercation with the officer who pulled her over, and she was arrested on an assault charge. Her encounter with the officer was mostly caught on dashcam video from the police cruiser. The video went viral, setting off nationwide, if not worldwide, controversy. The primary protest in connection with the incident is against policing with alleged racial bias.

The former state trooper who pulled Bland over had been charged with perjury for allegedly making a false statement about the arrest. Papers filed at the Waller County Courthouse in Hempstead, Texas, on June 28 show that that charge was dropped. The grand jury had found that he lied in an affidavit in which he allegedly falsely justified the arrest.

After Bland was arrested, she was unable to pay her $5,000 bond. Her death three days after arrest has been ruled a suicide. Since that time, there have been widespread protests about her allegedly needless arrest.

The officer was formally fired from his job in law enforcement in March 2016, after being indicted.

This latest development seems to be the close of year-long investigations, civil court proceedings, and legislation surrounding the arrest and death of Bland. Her family settled on $1.9 million to be paid by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Waller County in a wrongful death lawsuit. In June 2017, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Sandra Bland Act into law, which provides help for people who are incarcerated and have mental issues.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,,,

Police Misconduct Lawyer Plano, Texas – The Sandra Bland Act is Now Law, and County Jails Prepare for New Rules

Monday, June 19th, 2017

English: The Waller County Courthouse located ...

English: The Waller County Courthouse located at 29.5816° -95.7617°, Hempstead, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Thursday, June 15, 2017, a law requiring county jails to provide inmates who may have mental health problems with treatment was signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The legislation is known as the Sandra Bland Act. It was named after a 28-year-old woman who was famously pulled over in Waller County for an alleged minor traffic violation, and the police officer’s dash cam captured a controversial exchange between them. They ended up in an off-camera scuffle. She was arrested for alleged assault of a police officer. Bland was discovered hanging in her jail cell three days later. Her death was ruled a suicide. After her death, it was found that she may have been suffering from various health issues, including depression.

The Senate version of the bill was sponsored by Democrat Senator John Whitmire and was written by Democrat Representative Garnet Coleman. According to Coleman, in the past year in Texas county jails, 26 people have committed suicide.

The problem of jail suicide deaths is addressed in the new law. Jail employees are required to be provided with more de-escalation and mental health training. Local sheriff’s departments are now required to inform a judge within 12 hours if an individual in their custody is possibly dealing with mental disability or a mental health issue of some kind. Previously, deputies had a 3-day period in which to provide the same type of notification. In addition to quickly notifying a judge, a mental health professional must examine the individual, who may possibly be moved to a mental health facility.

In Bell County, Texas, things are in motion to ensure that the jail staff has 24-7 access to a mental health expert, which may mean the use of a teleconference. Cpt. Byron Shelton of Bell County Jail said a county jail is not the place for people in mental health crisis.

Because of the Sandra Bland Act, counties have permission to develop new programs which will place people with mental illnesses into care facilities, including many homeless individuals, which is a much better solution than putting them behind bars.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,

Police Misconduct Attorney Houston – The Texas Senate Passes a Purportedly Weakened Sandra Bland Act

Monday, May 15th, 2017

English: The Waller County Courthouse located ...

English: The Waller County Courthouse located at 29.5816° -95.7617°, Hempstead, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Thursday, May 11, 2017, the Sandra Bland Act was unanimously passed by Texas Senators. The bill addresses criminal justice reform issues related to the death of Sandra Bland, who was found dead, hanging in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell three days after an arrest resulting from a routine traffic stop. An investigation was done, and her death was declared a suicide. The bill is 55 pages long and details numerous reforms. The bill was composed by Democrat Representative Garnet Coleman of Houston, and the companion bill was filed in the senate by Democrat Senator John Whitmire of Houston. According to Whitmire, in 2015, 26 people died by apparent suicide in Texas county jails. Some reforms were put into place, and the number fell to 16 in 2016. Not enough is being done, Whitmire said.

Coleman said the big impact of this bill is that it can provide encouragement to continue trying to make meaningful change.

Law enforcement officers and jailers will be required to have more training in mental illness, if this bill also passes in the House and is ultimately signed by Governor Abbott, to become law. More about the bill follows:

  • It makes room for counties to provide programs so that mentally ill individuals and the homeless will have facilities instead of jails to go to.
  • It mandates that people with substance abuse and mental health issues be diverted by county jails toward treatment.
  • The bill makes it easier for defendants with an intellectual disability or with mental illness to receive a personal bond.
  • The bill requires that all jail deaths be investigated by independent law enforcement agencies.

Crucial sections of the bill have been removed, which Coleman expressed his disappointment about. Consent searches and pre-text stops were removed from the version of the bill that passed the Senate. He says other bill are specifically addressing those issues, however.

In this continuing series, learn about sections of the bill that were removed and the response from members of Bland’s family.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,,

Attorney – Protesters Against Police Violence Express the Message Through Art in Houston, Texas

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

English: The Waller County Courthouse located ...

English: The Waller County Courthouse located at 29.5816° -95.7617°, Hempstead, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Art League Houston a multimedia art show called How Do I Say Her Name? is on display until May 6, 2017; it has been up since March 24. The work of nine Texas women is on exhibit in the display. The women are Ann Johnson, Monica Villarreal, Lovie Olivia, Kaneem Smith, Regina Agu, Lauren Kelley, Rabéa Ballin, Rosine Kouman, and Autumn Knight. The purpose of the exhibit is to raise awareness of alleged police brutality against women of color.

Ann Johnson’s artwork at the Art League was chiefly inspired by the story of Sandra Bland, which has gained worldwide attention and sparked widespread outrage. Twenty-eight-year-old Bland was pulled over by a police officer on the outskirts of Houston on July 10, 2015, for a routine traffic stop regarding failure to use a blinker before changing lanes. Following a controversial encounter with the officer, much of which was captured on a dashcam video shot from the patrol vehicle, she was arrested for assault. Bland was found hanged to death with a plastic garbage bag in her Waller County, Texas, jail cell three days later. The circumstances of her death are widely debated, with an investigation showing officers at the jail did no wrong and there was no foul play and family and friends of Bland saying there is no way she would kill herself. Another huge question in the minds of many is why she was arrested in the first place, calling into question the actions of the arresting officer, who was fired from his job.

Johnson said that after what happened to Sandra Bland, for the first time in her life, she was afraid when driving in Waller County. She frequently drove past the area on University Drive where Bland had her encounter with police and would rehearse repeatedly the importance of using her blinker to change lanes. She says she was so deeply affected by Bland’s story, she couldn’t say Bland’s name aloud for months. Friends encouraged her to use her creative abilities for activism against police brutality.

In this continuing series, learn more about specific concerns of police misconduct that are expressed by the women in this art exhibit.

–Guest Contributor

Share

Tags: ,,,,,,,,,