Officer Michael Kelley Said He Was Threatened for Wanting to Testify in Sandra Bland Case
A police officer in Prairie View, Texas, said an official in the Waller County District Attorney's office threatened him for wanting to publicly testify in state trooper Brian Encinia's grand jury trial for the death of Sandra Bland, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Kelley said he faced intense opposition from Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam.
"He told me it wouldn't be good for my career," Kelley told the Huffington Post. "Then I told him I was going to talk to Sandra Bland's mother's attorney, and he told me I was going to be beneath the jail."
After Kelley arrived at the scene, Encinia said he overheard that he would come up with a reason for Bland's arrest, Kelley told Huffington Post. Kelley also said some details were removed from Encinia's incident report.
Encinia pulled Bland over for failing to signal a lane change on July 10, 2015. Three days later, Bland was found dead in her jail cell in Waller County, Texas.
Geneva Reed-Veal, Bland's mother, has been outspoken about her daughter's death and has been vigorously challenging the narrative provided by Waller County authorities. On Tuesday evening, Reed-Veal was featured in the Democratic National Convention as one of several black women in the "Mothers of the Movement" segment. During her speech, Reed-Veal honored her daughter and five other women who also died while in police custody: Kindra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Ralkina Jones and Joyce Curnell.
"[Bland was] found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest," Reed-Veal said to a captivated audience at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. "So many of our children are gone, but they are not forgotten."