For Immediate Release
Civil Rights Group Condemns Waller County Grand Jury
New York, NY - A Waller County grand jury has been impaneled that will hear cases for three to six months, including the tragic death of Sandra Bland. Local officials are reporting that out of 10 jurors, only one is Black and there are no Black women on the grand jury.
Arisha Hatch, Managing Director of Campaigns at ColorOfChange, issued the following statement:
“This nearly all white grand jury is yet another reason not to trust District Attorney DA Mathis' handling of this case. Instead of showing concern, Mathis seems to have no issue with the lack of diversity. The exclusion of Black people from juries is an age-old tactic used to prejudice the outcome of the jury. In fact, the Supreme Court will be looking into this very issue in Georgia.
“Since Sandra’s tragic death, District Attorney Mathis has done everything in his power to prevent justice for the Bland family. His efforts have focused on creating the illusion of integrity, such as the “independent” committee he convened that is anything but independent. One of the attorneys, Lewis White, is one of DA Mathis' former employees.
“Prosecutors who do their jobs and protect Black victims of police violence do so in a matter of days, not months. As thousands of people are discussing today on social media, using the hashtag #WallerCountyCantBeTrusted, there is absolutely no legitimate reason as to why DA Mathis has not charged Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia nearly a month and a half after Sandra was illegally and violently arrested. In the eyes of more than 500,000 people calling on the Department of Justice to investigate Sandra’s death and Waller County, this local investigation is nothing more than a cover-up.”
With more than 850,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.