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Irvo Otieno

Source: CNN / CNN

Last week, we reported that hospital employees and seven sheriff’s deputies in Dinwiddie, Virginia, are facing second-degree murder charges after they were all allegedly caught on video smothering 28-year-old Black man Irvo Otieno to death after he had been taken into custody over what his family described as a mental health episode. Otieno’s family and their attorneys, which include civil attorney Ben Crump, reportedly viewed video footage of the incident, during which Otieno’s mother, Caroline Ouko, said her “son was treated like a dogworse than a dog.”

At the time, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill said that “additional charges and arrests are pending,” but she declined to release the video to the public in order to “maintain the integrity of the criminal justice process at this point.” But on Tuesday, the Washington Post obtained and published nine minutes of surveillance video, which shows as many as 10 deputies and hospital staffers at Virginia’s Central State Hospital piling on top of Irvo Otieno for approximately 11 minutes while he was shackled and until he had completely stopped moving.

From the Post:

The hospital surveillance video, which has no sound, shows Otieno’s final moments on March 6, from the time Henrico County sheriff’s deputies drag him into a hospital admissions room in handcuffs and leg irons, to the 11 minutes in which they restrain Otieno on the ground, to the moment when they release Otieno’s limp body around 4:40 p.m.

Minutes later, video shows workers beginning to apply chest compressions and a defibrillator machine to Otieno’s upper body, before a medical technician drapes him with a white sheet at 5:48 p.m.
According to Baskervill’s office, who said she had already planned to release the video to the public on Tuesday before the Post published it ahead of time, prosecutors will seek an indictment Tuesday for the 10 people charged in Otieno’s death. And, according to court records, a grand jury was scheduled to meet Tuesday morning to review the case.
Meanwhile, on Monday, defense lawyers for two of the defendants in the case sought to block the video from being released ahead of trial because of the likelihood that it will influence potential jurors in a prejudicial way.
The Post also detailed what can be seen in surveillance footage taken from outside the hospital, where Otieno can be seen in handcuffs and leg restraints while officers took him out from the back seat of a police SUV and escorted by force into the hospital.
More from the Post:
Footage taken just inside the hospital shows the deputies forcing Otieno forward — he remains on his feet — as hospital staff trail behind through the entrance. Sheriff’s deputies appear in control of the situation as Otieno is brought down a hallway and through an open door at 4:17 p.m.
Four to five sheriff’s deputies can be seen dragging Otieno into the admissions room. Then, two sheriff’s deputies from Henrico County get into position, holding down Otieno as he sits on the ground, with his back propped against a seat.

But after Otieno, who is in handcuffs and leg irons, appears to make a movement shortly before 4:28 p.m., more deputies and hospital staff bear down on him. At least eight people pile on top of Otieno, some holding down his legs, while others restrain his upper body.

At 4:31 p.m., the group seems to lose its grip on Otieno for a moment, and they roll him around on the ground. Nine or 10 people are holding down Otieno. Hospital staff are in the room watching or helping to restrain him.

Deputies and staff ease their hold on Otieno and roll him onto his side moments before 4:40 p.m. Otieno is shirtless and appears not to be moving. One minute later, a medical worker lowers the top of Otieno’s pants and administers an injection. He is still immobile. Resuscitation efforts, including chest compressions and defibrillator charges, take up less than one hour on the video.

Deputies and staff ease their hold on Otieno and roll him onto his side moments before 4:40 p.m. Irvo Otieno is shirtless and appears not to be moving. One minute later, a medical worker lowers the top of Otieno’s pants and administers an injection. He is still immobile. Resuscitation efforts, including chest compressions and defibrillator charges, take up less than one hour on the video.

Mark Krudys, one of the family attorneys, noted that “those resuscitation efforts were very slow in the beginning,” and he said Oteno’s mother wants the video released to the public in full because she “feels very strongly that the public should see what happened to her son.”

For what it’s worth, Baskervill said Monday that she too believes the public should see the video and that any potential juror bias will be filtered out during the jury selection process.

“There is no agenda here other than transparency,” she said.

SEE ALSO:

What Happened To Irvo Otieno? 3 Virginia Hospital Workers, 7 Cops Accused Of Smothering Black Man To Death

Clarence Wilkerson’s In-Custody Death Was ‘Preventable,’ Kentucky Arrest Video Shows

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