Brian T. Encina, the police officer who arrested Sandra Bland, has been charged with perjury. On Wednesday, the grand jury opted to indict Encinia for lying in his police report. That charge–Class A misdemeanor perjury–carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $4,000 fine. (The Department of Public Safety, which has kept Encinia on administrative duty since Bland’s death, announced that same day that it’s also in the process of firing the offer–though a misdemeanor conviction wouldn’t necessarily bar him from seeking employment in law enforcement in the future).

The charge stems from the affidavit Encinia filed after he arrested Bland on July 10. A police dashboard-camera video of the episode shows an escalating confrontation after Ms. Bland refuses Trooper Encinia’s request to put out a cigarette. At one point, Trooper Encinia says he will forcibly remove Ms. Bland from her car and threatens her with a taser, saying “I will light you up.”

Three days later, the Chicago-area woman was found hanged in her cell at the Waller County jail.

In his report, Encinia claimed that he “had Bland exit the vehicle to further conduct a safe traffic investigation,” a statement that the grand jury “found to be false,” according to special prosecutor Shawn McDonald.

The statement about why Encinia removed Bland from the car isn’t the only inconsistency–in the video, he tells Bland that she’s under arrest while she’s till in the car, before she could have possibly assaulted a police officer, in his report, he says that she was arrested because she assaulted a police officer.

The fact that the arrest that led directly to Bland’s death is being prosecuted as misdemeanor perjury has left her family dissatisfied. Bland’s mother told CBS Chicago about her frustration:

“To charge this guy with a misdemeanor, a Class A misdemeanor, are you kidding me? The world is looking at this going, ‘Are you serious? Really?’” said Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal. “The indictment should be followed by a conviction at some point, I’m going to assume, but where is the true indictment? Where is the indictment for the assault? The battery? The false arrest? Where is that?” she said.

The family’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Houston and i scheduled for trial in January 2017, claim that Ms. Bland should never have been arrested and accused Trooper Encinia of making up a reason to arrest her. It also claims that Ms. Bland, who told jail officials of a previous suicide attempt, was not properly supervised by jail officials.

The director of the Department of Public Safety,Steven McCraw, under sharp questioning at a legislative inquiry in July, said Trooper Encinia violated department policy, behaved rudely and failed to de-escalate a confrontation. 

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