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Irvo Otieno

Source: CNN / CNN

The family of Irvo Otieno has finally reached a settlement in his tragic death. According to AP, the family agreed to an $8.5 million settlement with the state of Virginia, Henrico County, and the sheriff whose deputies were involved in his death. 

“The family of Irvo Otieno and the County of Henrico, its Sheriff, and the Commonwealth of Virginia have reached a confidential settlement regarding the death of Irvo Otieno,” said family Attorney Ben Crump. “The family is pleased that they were able to find a resolution outside of court in a manner that honors Irvo’s life.”

On March 6, 28-year-old Irvo Otieno died after he was pinned down by several officers and healthcare staff at a mental health hospital. 

During the March 6 incident, Otieno was being transferred from a Henrico County jail to Central State Hospital, a Dinwiddie official said. According to family members, Otieno had a long-running history of mental health struggles.

Initially, he was taken to a Richmond area hospital for psychiatric treatment March 3, but allegedly, he became violent and combative at the facility.

Otieno was criminally charged and transferred to jail where he was denied access to crucial medication for his condition, family members said.

His death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.

Video released of the incident shows several officers forcing Otieno to lie face down flat on the floor. At times, his body can barely be seen in the video due to the number of officers pinning him down to the ground with their weight.

Officials from the Dinwiddie County Commonwealth office also released a 911 phone call that offered more details into the harrowing incident. According to CNN, in the audio, a caller repeatedly asked for medical assistance after Otieno stopped breathing. They claimed he was “very aggressive” and combative prior to losing oxygen.

Seven deputies and three hospital employees were indicted by a grand jury on second-degree murder charges, although charges against the hospital employees were dropped in June, according to AP.

According to the settlement agreement, although the state, county and the sheriff agreed to collectively pay the $8.5 million to Otieno’s family, they did not admit any liability in the death of Irvo Otieno.

While attorneys for the Otieno family referred to the amount agreed upon as “confidential,” AP was able to dig up the terms of the agreement, which includes a payment of about $5 million to Otieno’s mother and siblings and another $3 million to cover funeral and burial expenses as well as attorneys fees.


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