Video After The Jump
7 sheriff’s deputies in central Virginia were arrested and charged with second-degree murder Tuesday in the death of a Black man who prosecutors say was fatally “smothered” while in custody.
Irvo Otieno, 28, died on March 6 at a state mental health facility during the intake process as he was being transferred from a Henrico County jail.
In court Wednesday, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill, said Otieno was in handcuffs & leg irons & was held on the ground for 12 minutes by all 7 deputies.
“They smothered him to death,” she said. “He died of asphyxia due to being smothered.”
She said the incident was captured on video that is “extremely clear, extremely alarming.”
The video is 12 minutes long and shows “deliberate & cruel treatment,” she added.
“The family is grief stricken after learning of the brutal nature of Irvo’s death & his inhumane treatment in the hours preceding his death,” Mark Krudys, the attorney for Otieno’s family, told CNN. “The public & experienced mental-health professionals alike, will be deeply disturbed when the facts of this case are fully made known.”
The case comes as law enforcement use of force has been under scrutiny nationwide, particularly as it relates to violence against Black people.
The 7 deputies who were charged were identified as Randy Joseph Boyer, Dwayne Alan Bramble, Jermaine Lavar Branch, Bradley Thomas Disse, Tabitha Renee Levere, Brandon Edwards Rodgers, & Kaiyell Dajour Sanders.
All 7 are slotted to appear before a grand jury on March 21.
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