Sandra Bland Act gets approved version from Texas Senate

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The Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee approved their version of the Sandra Bland Act on Tuesday.

The act aims to comprehensively change the way police and civilians interact.

Senate’s version of the bill would mandate county jails to route people with substance abuse and mental health issues to treatment as well as install electronic cameras or sensors to monitor inmates better. Training would be required for officers on the use of force and understanding of implicit bias.

The bill would also prohibit police from conducting searches with a person’s consent unless they first tell them they can refuse and after the person verbally consents to one. That consent would have to be recorded by the officer’s car or body camera.

Sandra Bland was found dead in her jail cell three days after being arrested in Waller County, Texas by state trooper Brian Encinia. She was undergoing a routine traffic stop for failing to signal a lane change when the conversation between Encinia and Bland got heated.

Officials ruled Bland’s death a suicide but drew skepticism of her actual cause of death from many.