Dinwiddie, Virginia – As per relatives of the man and their attorneys who viewed the clip Thursday, a video from a state mental health facility shows a Black Virginia man who was tied in shackles being restrained from standing by deputies who are currently facing 2nd-degree murder charges in his death. Ten people have been charged in the death of Irvo Otieno at a mental facility.
The family and attorneys decried the inhumane treatment they stated Irvo Otieno, 28, was made subject to, initially at a local jail followed by a state hospital, where officials say he died March 6 during the admission process, at a media briefing soon after viewing a recording with a local prosecutor.
They requested that the US Department of Justice intervene in the matter, claiming that Otieno’s constitutional rights had been obviously violated.
“What I witnessed today, America, was heartbreaking. It was upsetting. It was upsetting. “My son was tormented,” added Caroline Ouko, Otieno’s mother.
Otieno’s death in jail is the latest incidence of a Black man dying in detention and has enforcement under examination. It occurs approximately three years after the death of George Floyd in custody in Minneapolis, and it follows the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols early this year in Memphis, Tn.
Ben Crump, who previously represented Floyd’s family and currently working with Otieno’s, immediately made the connection.
“It is extremely upsetting that nearly three years after the terrible execution of George Floyd by police, another family is mourning the loss of a loved one who reportedly died in precisely the same manner – while being pinned down by police for 12 minutes of agony,” stated Crump.
At the media briefing, Mark Krudys, another attorney for Otieno’s family, stated that the footage shows all 7 of the deputies currently facing charges pressing down on Otieno, who was wearing cuffs as well as leg irons.
“One can tell they’re putting their heart and soul into it.”Every portion of his body is being brutally shoved down,” he stated.
Thus far, ten persons have now been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Otieno’s killing. The 7 Henrico County Sheriff’s deputies were accused on Tuesday, while three people working by the hospital were charged on Thursday.
The video that the family saw on Thursday was not made public. But, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill detailed it in court on Wednesday.
According to Baskervill, Otieno did not seem belligerent and was seated in a chair prior to getting dragged to the ground by officers, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
She revealed the additional charges against the hospital staff in a news release on Thursday: Sadarius D. Williams, 27, of North Dinwiddie, Darian M. Blackwell, 23, of Petersburg, and Wavie L. Jones, 34, of Chesterfield. They were also being detained without bail, and it wasn’t apparent whether they had counsel who could speak for them. A state police spokesperson said she can’t say if they had retained counsel, and none were mentioned in court documents. The news announcement did not specify what role they are accused of playing in Otieno’s death.
More charges as well as arrests are anticipated, according to Baskervill.
Otieno, who was a youngster when his family immigrated from Kenya and was raised in suburban Richmond, has a history of mental health issues and was in mental anguish at the time of his first encounter with law enforcement early this month, according to his family and attorneys.
This triggered a cascade of events that resulted in him spending several days in detention before dying on March 6 while being committed to Central State Hospital south of Richmond, according to police.
According to Krudys, the hospital tape also indicated a lack of haste to rescue Otieno once deputies confirmed: “that he was motionless and not breathing.”
Otieno was a much-loved young guy, an aspiring singer, and a popular high school athlete, according to Krudys.
“There is purity in his music, and that’s all I have now – he’s gone,” Ouko lamented during the press conference, clutching a framed portrait of her son.
“I’m unable to attend his wedding. Because somebody declined to assist him, I’ll never see a grandchild. “No one spoke to put an end to what was happening,” she explained.
According to a timeline given by Henrico County Police, a different agency from the sheriffs department, Otieno was arrested for the first time on March 3.
According to a news statement from the police department, officers met Otieno while responding to a complaint of a probable burglary in suburban Richmond, and judging by his behavior, they placed him under emergency detention and sent him to a local hospital for assessment.
As per Krudys, Otieno was having a mental health crisis when a neighbor called the police to report him collecting lawn lights out of a neighbor’s yard. He stated that Otieno’s mother attempted to de-escalate the immediate reaction from a swarm of police officers and that the family agreed that he should be sent to a hospital for treatment.
And yet, while in the hospital, he “got physically aggressive and violent with authorities, who arrested him” and transported him to a local jail run by the Henrico Sheriff’s Office, to be served with several counts stated the police.
According to the family counsel, Otieno was refused access to necessary drugs while incarcerated. On Thursday, the family also watched a video from that facility, which they claimed showed Otieno being brutalized by unnamed officers.
Crump claimed he was pepper sprayed, & Krudys claimed that on March 6, officers charged into his cell, which was covered with feces, while Otieno was naked and restrained. Officers are seen taking a “nearly lifeless” Otieno out by his arms and legs “like an animal” in the video to be moved to the state hospital.
“My son was handled like a dog, even worse,” Ouko added.
Shannon Taylor, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Henrico County, said in a statement on Thursday that she is initiating an investigation into what transpired in the jail that day and has promised to release the results. The Henrico sheriff did not elaborate further than a statement issued earlier this week.
According to Baskervill, sheriff’s office employees came to Central State Hospital at 4 p.m. on March 6 to admit Otieno. State police were not summoned to examine his death until 7:28 p.m. that evening, she claimed.
A defense attorney indicated in court Wednesday that two medical shots Otieno had may have played a part in his death, which Baskervill denied. Ten people have been charged in the death of Irvo Otieno at a mental facility.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has yet to make a final decision on how Otieno died.
According to court documents and local media, two of the deputies got freed on bond. The others were still detained, with hearings scheduled for next week.
In an email Thursday, Edward Nickel, an attorney representing Deputy Bradley Disse, one of the offenders released, claimed Disse had served “honorably” during his 20-year tenure with the sheriff’s department.
“He is looking forward to his opportunity to litigate this case and for the complete truth to be presented in court and eventually vindicated,” Nickel wrote in an email. Ten people have been charged in the death of Irvo Otieno at a mental facility.
In a statement uploaded to social media on Tuesday, the Henrico Fraternal Order of Police-Lodge 4 defended the deputies, advising against hasty judgment and emphasizing that the allegations were yet to be subjected to the rigor of the judicial process.
News organizations have requested video of the confrontation. Authorities are withholding it due to an ongoing investigation. Crump stated on Thursday that the family says the footage should be made public.
“How can we establish trust without transparency, and then attain accountability?” he stated.