• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

What To Know About Irvo Otieno, Whose Loss of life At A Psychological Well being Facility Sparked 10 Homicide Fees


Mar 17, 2023

Up to date Mar 17, 2023, 02:49pm EDT


Prosecutors say Black musician Irvo Otieno was smothered to demise on March 6 in Henrico, Virginia, by cops who handled him brutally whereas transferring him from a county jail to a psychological well being facility, an incident a lawyer representing the Otieno household in comparison with the 2020 police killing of George Floyd.

officers pinned him to the bottom and smothered him, prosecutors say. (Courtesy of Ben Crump Legislation through AP)Related Press

Key Info

The County Commonwealth’s Lawyer Ann Cabell Baskervill mentioned an “extraordinarily clear” and “extraordinarily alarming” video reveals deputies restraining Irvo Otieno, a 28-year-old Black musician, by placing their physique weight on him and one officer’s knee on his neck for 12 minutes shortly after admitting him to Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County.

Ten folks—seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies and three workers at Central State Hospital—have been charged with second-degree homicide.

Attorneys for the Otieno household mentioned officers “drive rushed” Otieno, who was handcuffed, bare and surrounded by feces in his jail cell, towards a metallic mattress and a tough wall, earlier than transferring him to the psychological facility the place seven deputies, 4 of whom weighed at the least 250 kilos, pushed down on “each a part of [Otieno’s] physique.”

Otieno’s household and attorneys mentioned Otieno didn’t resist or pose a risk to the officers and seemed to be “in between lifelessness and unconsciousness” within the video, which won’t be launched to the general public.

The Workplace of Chief Medical Examiner recognized Otieno’s reason behind demise as asphyxiation in a preliminary report.

The Henrico Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4, the native police union, mentioned in an announcement Otieno’s demise was tragic, however defended the officers, saying police work is “tough” due to the “risk of being criminally charged whereas performing their responsibility.”

Caleb Kershner, an legal professional representing one of many deputies, known as the second-degree homicide cost an “excessive measure.”

Key Background

Otieno was taken into custody on March 3 by Henrico County police responding to a report of a potential housebreaking. A neighbor known as police over considerations of Otieno gathering garden lights from a neighbor’s yard, which Mark Krudys, an legal professional for the Otieno household, mentioned was a part of a psychological well being disaster. Otieno’s mom tried to de-escalate the cops that responded to the incident, Krudys mentioned. Officers took Otieno to a hospital for analysis, the place authorities say he assaulted three officers, who then took him to an area jail and charged him with assault on a regulation enforcement officer, disorderly conduct in a hospital and vandalism. Attorneys for Otieno’s household mentioned throughout his three-day keep in jail, earlier than being taken to the psychological well being facility, Otieno was pepper sprayed and denied the psychological well being treatment he wanted.


Civil rights legal professional Ben Crump in contrast the incident to the killing of George Floyd in Might 2020, as each Floyd and Otieno have been forcibly held to the bottom by officers. Crump has supplied authorized companies to the households of unarmed Black victims of police violence, together with Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

What To Watch For

The ten folks charged with second-degree homicide will seem earlier than a Virginia grand jury on Tuesday. Baskerville additionally mentioned further fees and arrests are pending.

Essential Quote

“It’s actually stunning that just about three years after the brutal killing of George Floyd by police, one other household is grieving a liked one who allegedly died in the very same method,” Crump mentioned.

Additional Studying

10 folks related to the demise of a 28-year-old Black man at a psychological well being facility face homicide fees. Right here’s what we all know (CNN)

Video reveals deputies smother Va. man for 11 minutes earlier than demise, household says (The Washington Put up)

Video of Virginia man who died at hospital reveals ‘absolute brutality’ by deputies, household says (NBC Information)

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I’m an explainers and developments reporter for Forbes. I beforehand labored on Forbes’s wealth crew the place I lined billionaires. I graduated from the College of Pennsylvania in Might and spent that summer time engaged on Forbes’s Prime Faculties listing. Earlier than that, I served as a information editor for Penn’s pupil newspaper, The Day by day Pennsylvanian, in addition to a digital intern for NBC Information and a overseas desk intern for Vox.

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