US & Canada

Sandra Bland's family 'win $1.9m payout' in Texas

#SayHerName became a hashtag to symbolise victimised women of colour Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption #SayHerName became a hashtag to symbolise victimised women of colour

The family of a black motorist found hanged in her Texas jail cell has reached a $1.9m (£1.4m) settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer says.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and Waller County Jail have agreed the payout to relatives of Sandra Bland, says their attorney, Cannon Lambert.

But the defendants' legal team said the settlement had not yet been finalised.

Ms Bland killed herself in July 2015 three days after her arrest for a minor traffic offence, authorities said.

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Media captionThe BBC's David Willis says police hope that the release of the images will quash conspiracy theories about her death

The family lawyer said that under the settlement the county jail will step up staff training and inmate monitoring.

"This is the beginning, not the end," he said, adding that Ms Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, had insisted jail reform be included in the settlement.

"It's awesome," Ms Bland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

"It's a victory for mothers across the country."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Sandra Bland was about to start a new job in Texas

Ms Reed-Veal said that as part of the settlement Waller County Jail will be required to have a 24-hour nurse on duty.

Ms Bland died by asphyxiation after using a plastic bag to hang herself in her cell, authorities said. Her death was officially ruled a suicide.

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Media captionAre cameras holding police to account?

She was about to begin a new job in the Houston area when she was pulled over by a state trooper for failing to change lanes without signalling.

A dashboard camera filmed the officer, Brian Encinia, arguing with Ms Bland, and threatening her with a stun gun.

"I will light you up!" shouts Mr Encinia, who was later fired and charged for lying to authorities about the arrest.

The death led to nationwide protests by activists from Black Lives Matter.

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