Seven sheriff’s deputies and three hospital staff are being charged with second-degree homicide in the death of Ervo Otieno, a 28-year-old black man who died March 6. State Psychological Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia.
video of Otieno’s death exists however is not yet Launched publicly. In keeping with the household and legal professionals who considered it, the footage is ugly and violent. USA TODAY has not seen the video.
In regards to the video on Thursday, Caroline Oko, Otieno’s mom, stated, “What I saw today was heartbreaking, America. It was disturbing. It was painful. My son was tortured.”
Prosecutors stated throughout the officers’ preliminary court docket listening to that safety digital camera footage confirmed seven sheriff’s personnel “suppressed” Otieno on the hospital and waited greater than three hours to tell him of his death.
“It is truly shocking that almost three years after the brutal killing of George Floyd by police, another family is grieving a loved one who reportedly died almost exactly the same way – for 12 painful minutes after being pinned down by police,” stated Ben Crump, a nationally recognized civil-rights lawyer who labored prominently in a number of high-profile circumstances, together with the death of George Floyd, and is now working with Otieno’s household. are, stated in a press release.
Costs framed towards 10 folks together with seven public representatives
Ten folks have to this point been charged with second-degree homicide in Otieno’s death. Seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies had been charged Tuesday, and extra fees had been introduced Thursday towards three folks employed by the hospital.
Otieno died in a hospital on fees of disorderly conduct and vandalism, after being arrested by police officers and suspected of theft, and on fees of assault on a legislation enforcement officer. A grand jury is anticipated to fulfill March 21 in Dinwiddie, Virginia, to find out whether or not the deputies and hospital employees ought to be indicted.
Extra:Prosecutor says 7 Virginia officers charged in psychological hospital affected person’s death ‘smothered’ him in custody
What can we learn about Otieno’s death?
Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Legal professional Ann Cabell Baskerville stated that on March 6, officers transported Ervo Otieno to Union State Hospital, the place he died whereas being held by officers and hospital personnel. Officers stated the death occurred throughout the entry course of.
- What was the reason for death? Officers acknowledged that the preliminary reason behind death for Otieno was asphyxiation, and a state health worker initially decided the way of death to be a murder. The ultimate trigger had not but been decided as of 17 March.
- What does the video present in response to Otieno’s household? Mark Crudice, an lawyer for Otieno’s household, stated the video confirmed all seven deputies now going through fees on Otieno, who was in handcuffs and leg shackles. “You can see they’re putting their backs into it. Every part of their body is being pushed down with such ferocity.”
Extra:‘They tortured him’: 3 staff face homicide fees in man’s ‘suffocation’ at Virginia psychological well being hospital
What occurred earlier than Otieno’s death?
Henrico County Police stated that whereas responding to a suspected housebreaking on March 3, they recognized and contacted a “potential suspect,” Otieno, and positioned him below an emergency detention order. Police, together with members of the county’s disaster intervention group, took Otieno to an space hospital for additional analysis, the place they are saying he “became physically aggressive toward officers.”
Officers arrested Otieno and took him to the Warrant Companies Unit at Henrico County Jail West, charged and booked him with assault on a legislation enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and vandalism at a hospital, in response to a News release From Police Division.
Otieno spent a number of days in custody. He was then admitted to Central State Hospital South, the place he died.
Ervo Otieno’s household: ‘There was goodness in his music’
Ervo Otieno, 28, of Henrico, Virginia, was an aspiring hip-hop musician and former highschool athlete who moved to the US from Kenya when he was 4 years previous. CNN reported,
“There’s goodness in his music and now that’s all I’m left with – he’s gone,” his mom stated at a press convention, holding a framed picture of her son.
He had a historical past of psychological well being struggles, his household and legal professionals stated, and alleged he was having a psychological well being disaster.
What’s subsequent for the deputies concerned?
Henrico Sheriff Alisa Gregory Said Seven sheriff’s deputies who had been concerned in the incident have been positioned on administrative depart pending the result of the case.
The Related Press recognized the deputies as: Randy Joseph Boyer, 57, of Henrico; Dwayne Allen Bramble, 37, of Sandston; 45-year-old Germán Lavar Department of Henrico; Bradley Thomas Deese, 43, of Henrico; Tabitha Renee Levere, 50, of Henrico; Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, of Henrico; and Kayle DeJour Sanders, 30, of North Chesterfield.
Challenges the Henrico Fraternal Order of the Police Lodge Integrity of the allegations. “Mr. Otierno’s death was tragic, and we extend our condolences to his family. We stand behind the seven accused now charged with murder by Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Baskerville,” they wrote.
The lodge wrote in a press release on Fb that they’re hoping for a “swift resolution” to call the officers.
Henrico County Sheriff Alisa Gregory stated in a press release that her workplace is cooperating totally with state police and conducting its personal inside evaluate of the incident.
The psychological well being hospital staff charged are: Darian M. Blackwell, 23, of Petersburg; Wavey L Jones, 34, of Chesterfield; and Saderius D., 27, of North Dinwiddie. Williams.
George Floyd, Tyre Nichols additionally died in police custody
Otieno’s case is one other instance of a custodial death of a black man. It comes practically three years after the deadly beating of Tyra Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this yr and the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Otieno’s household and their legal professionals have referred to as on the US Division of Justice to intervene in the case.
Extra:7 sheriff’s deputies have been charged in man’s death at Virginia psychological hospital
Contribution: The Related Press; Thao Nguyen and Terry Collins, USA TODAY; Invoice Atkinson, USA TODAY Community
Contact Kayla Jimenez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe her on Twitter at @kaylajjimenez.