*The family of Sandra Bland will finally have their day in court as a trial date for their wrongful death lawsuit has been set.
The date for the trial, as set by U.S. District Judge David Hittner, will be January 23, 2017. News of the trial date marks the latest development in the Bland case. Bland, a 28-year-old Chicago area woman, was stopped for a minor traffic violation by state trooper Brian Encinia in July after moving to Texas to take a job at Prairie View A&M University. After her arrest, Bland was later found hanging in a Waller County, Texas jail cell.
Although the death was ruled a suicide by the medical examiner, Bland’s family questioned the finding and filed the wrongful death lawsuit, seeking an undisclosed amount in damages from Encinia, Waller County, Texas Department of Public Safety and two jailers.
Citing how his legal team wasn’t able to examine the report of Bland’s death, Cannon Lambert Sr., the Bland family attorney, stated to Judge Hittner that he couldn’t accept that Bland hung herself in her jail cell with a plastic garbage bag.
“We’ve not had occasion to assess fingerprints on the ligature,” Lambert told the judge. “A lot of information we frankly don’t have. We’re not able to finish our own medical investigation.”