In Virginia state, seven deputy sheriffs have been charged with the murder of a man in custody. On 6th March, a 28 years old man, Irvo Otieno, died when he was shifted from jail to mental health facility.
According to Prosecutors, Mr Otieno died due to the sheriffs suffocating him until his death. But the cause of death of Mr Otieno has not been released by the medical examiner till now. On Wednesday, Ann Cabell Baskervill, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s lawyer, said that his hand and legs were cuffed while surrounded by all seven Henrico County deputy sheriffs.
According to Baskerville, “They smothered him till death”. Ms Baskervill talked to local media and claimed he died of asphyxia from severe wounds. While on the other side, Prosecutors said Mr Otieno behaved as “combative” before he was restrained.
Ms Baskervill further included that the incident we saw on the video was deliberate and cruel behaviour. According to a police news release, Mr Otieno was arrested on 3rd March as the suspect in a possible burglary.
After the arrest, officers ordered put Mr Otieno on an emergency custody order. According to a police officer, if a person suffers from mental illness, it will be dangerous for themselves or others. Further, they said, “based on their interactions and observations”.
Further, police added that he was taken to the hospital for evaluation, where he tried to harm the police officers. Then he arrived and was taken to jail and charged with assault.
According to the family members, Otieno was suffering from mental issues and was also on medication, but he did not assault anyone during custody. He was also experiencing a mental health issue after the police arrested him.
Alisa Gregory, Henrico County Sheriff Alisa Gregory, said the state police and their agency are now investigating all the deputies.
Ms Gregory said, “The events of March 6, at their core, represent a tragedy because Mr Otieno’s life was lost; this loss is felt by not only those close to him but our entire community.”
Prosecutors identified the seven deputies as Dajour Sanders, 30; Kaiyell, Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48; Tabitha Renee Levere, 50; Bradley Thomas Disse, 43; Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45, Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37 and Randy Joseph Boyer, 57.
A lawyer from Mr Otieno’s family, Mark Kurdys, told the media “grief stricken after learning of the brutal nature of Ivor’s death and his inhumane treatment in the hours preceding his death.”
21 March date is fixed for all deputies to appear on the grand jury.
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