Police Piled On Irvo Otieno Before He Died In Custody
Police piled on Irvo Otieno before he died in custody.Struggling for air and pinned to the ground, the final moments of Irvo Otieno's life were caught on surveillance cameras at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia.
Irvo Otieno is a 28-year-old Black man who died in custody at a psychiatric hospital in Virginia, USA. Irvo Otieno emigrated to the United States from Kenya when he was four years old.
He was initially arrested on suspicion of burglary and placed under an emergency custody order due to concerns about his mental health.
Prosecutors in the state released the video footage to the public on Tuesday, which shows Mr. Otieno being held down by a group of seven sheriff deputies and three medical staff for 11 minutes while being taken from a jail to the psychiatric facility under an emergency custody order.
A clip with no sound shows Mr. Otieno being dragged into a hospital admissions room in handcuffs and leg irons, before being pinned to the ground by at least eight people, while others hold his upper body.
New surveillance video in case of Irvo Otieno, who died in police custody
Prosecutors have charged all 10 people involved in the incident, including second-degree murder charges for the seven deputies and three medical staff, who will now face a grand jury indictment.
Irvo Otieno's tragic death in police custody is a stark reminder of the ongoing struggles of Black Americans and the excessive use of force by law enforcement.
The video footage of Mr. Otieno's final moments is heartbreaking and has been released to the public in a move toward justice for his family.
In the video, a staff member at the hospital can be heard stating that Irvo Otieno was receiving CPR and had previously been "very aggressive." When asked to clarify, the staff member explained that the patient was being restrained and eventually stopped breathing.
A preliminary post-mortem examination suggested that Mr. Otieno had died from asphyxia. Although Mr. Otieno's family supported the release of the video, the lawyers for the deputies and medical staff facing charges argued that its release could prejudice a fair trial.
The seven deputies involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave during the ongoing investigation. Two have been released on bond, while the others remain in custody. The three hospital workers have been taken to jail and are being held without bond.
As his mother said after the indictments were announced, it's just the beginning step. As the investigation continues, we hope that justice is served and that Mr. Otieno's death will not be in vain.
When Irvo needed a helping hand, he instead got an overdose of excessive force.- Attorney Ben Crump
The release of the video footage and audio of the 911 call should serve as a wake-up call to address the systemic issues of police brutality and mental health treatment in our society.