The Texas Senate unanimously passed a significantly diluted Sandra Bland Act Thursday, and now the bill will go to the Texas House of Representatives, KHOU.com reports.
The bill has been stripped of any measure of police accountability, including consent searches and pre-text stops. But lawmakers believe it is still a good first step.
The legislation requires officers to go undergo training in mental illness and de-escalation training for officers and jailers. Texas counties will also have the autonomy to create programs that would place people with mental illnesses in facilities instead of jails.
Bland’s sister, however, doesn’t want “encouragement,” she wants justice.
“What the bill does in its current state renders Sandy invisible,” said Sharon Cooper, Bland’s older sister, in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday night.
“It’s frustrating and gut-wrenching.”
Cooper, speaking on behalf of Bland’s family, said the legislation now “isolates the very person it seeks to honor.”
“It painfully misses the mark for us,” Cooper said.
Encinia instigated, agitated and escalated his encounter with Bland—first, by saying that she “seemed very irritated,” then by ordering her to put out her cigarette in her car, then by forcefully removing her from the car under imminent threat of “lighting her up” with a Taser, before brutalizing her on the side of the road and ultimately arresting her on the charge of resisting arrest.
Bland, 28, was found hanged to death in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell three days later, and her death was ruled a suicide. The circumstances surrounding Bland’s death were suspicious, with family members, friends, and activists in the Movement for Black Lives voicing serious doubts that she killed herself.
Kirsten West Savali Contributed to this post Click to read original story (The Root)