Waller County deputy who guarded Sandra Bland fired for separate ‘policy violations’

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A Waller County Sheriff’s deputy, accused of improperly guarding Sandra Bland two years ago, has been fired in connection with a newly alleged incident.

Deputy Dormic Smith, 30, of Hempstead, was fired Monday afternoon “for policy violations in regards to professionalism,” Sheriff R. Glenn Smith confirmed in emails sent Tuesday.

The alleged incident occurred in March during a patrol arrest, the sheriff wrote. The complainant first reported it to an officer he or she knew at another agency. The chief there contacted the sheriff, and an internal investigation resulted in his dismissal. 

No further details on the complaint were provided.

Dormic Smith received his temporary jailer’s license to work in Waller County on April 12, 2015, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records. Sandra Bland died three months later, on July 13.

Bland was arrested after a traffic step escalated into a heated confrontation with a state trooper, and she was found hanged in her cell three days later. Authorities deemed her death a suicide, and the trooper was later fired and indicted on a perjury charge.

In a federal wrongful-death lawsuit, which has since been settled, Bland’s mother Geneva Reed-Veal accused Smith of “failing to provide adequate monitoring of Sandra Bland to keep her safe and secure,” court records show. Smith denied this in a subsequent filing.

His attorney during that period, Larry Simmons, was not immediately available for comment.

Smith received his full jailer’s license on Feb. 17, 2016, according to the commission records. He was cleared to work as a peace officer later that year, on June 9.

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis said he expected to receive the case for review Tuesday or Wednesday.

“We will review everything once we get it and make appropriate decisions,” he said.

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