AUSTIN - The Texas Department of Public Safety is saying a preliminary review shows a trooper violated department policies with regards to traffic stops and courtesy in stopping Sandra Bland, the woman who later died in the Waller County jail.
Bland, a Chicago-area native and Prairie View A&M graduate who was set to start work at her alma mater, was pulled over July 10 in Waller County. According to DPS, the initial stop was for improperly signalling a lane change, but Bland was arrested on a charge of assaulting a public servant.
A video on YouTube claims to show Bland face down and detained on the ground by law enforcement, then later taken to a squad car for transport.
Monday, Bland was found dead in the jail. According to a Harris County office that conducted the autopsy, Bland committed suicide by hanging.
Investigations are underway by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Rangers and the FBI, into both the traffic stop and the death of Bland.
DPS says the employee involved in the traffic stop is now on desk duty as its investigation continues.
Additional details on the violations were not released.
"The District Attorney and DPS have also requested that the FBI conduct a forensic analysis of the videos related to this case," a DPS statement Friday read. "The video footage will be shared with the public as soon as possible.
"The Department of Public Safety (DPS) values and strives to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the public through our actions based on fairness, respect and courteously serving those we contact.," the statement adds.
Protests were held Friday in Hempstead, with family members of Bland saying they do not believe Bland would have killed herself.
A video posted by Bland on social media in March showed the 28-year-old saying she was suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress.