A lawyer representing the family of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in a Waller County jail cell on July 13, has filed a federal lawsuit against the arresting officer and all others deemed responsible for Bland's sudden death. According to the Houston Chronicle, Bland's mother "is seeking a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages in her wrongful death suit against DPS trooper Brian Encinia; Waller County jail screening officers Elsa Magnus and Oscar Prudente; Waller County; DPS; and Waller County."
Tuesday's lawsuit comes on the heels of Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis's announcement that he had invited defense attorneys Lewis M. White and Darrell W. Jordan to join the investigation as a formal oversight committee, likely in an attempt to answer the public call for a team of outside prosecutors. The public response to Bland's death has been driven by a continually renewed demand for police reform on a national level, a demand inspired not only by the unsettling nature of Bland's arrest and subsequent death but by the staggering statistics surrounding police-related deaths.
In July alone, police killed 118 people, the highest amount of police-related fatalities this year. According to projections from The Guardian's independent tracking project entitled The Counted, if police maintain the current rate, at least 1,150 people will lose their lives by the end of 2015.