Irvo Otieno’s death: Video shows Virginia deputies and medical workers leaning on him

A video capturing some of the final moments of Irvo Otieno, whose death led to the indictment of seven Virginia sheriff’s deputies and three hospital workers, shows how officers and medical staff on a 28-year-old black man before he eventually stops moving.

Video footage of the March 6 incident at Virginia Central State Hospital shows officers dragging Otieno, who appears to be handcuffed and ankle-cuffed, to the waiting room, first moving him to a table and then laying him down and holding him to the ground. .

At one point, about 10 sheriff’s deputies and hospital medical staff can be seen crowding around the Virginian man on the floor, with several others standing nearby. The stage is so crowded that Otieno is almost invisible at this moment, and it is not clear what exactly is happening and how deputies and medical workers interact with him.

Earlier Tuesday, the Washington Post published nine minutes of video that was edited from the first 27 minutes of CCTV footage. NBC News later received the video without sound.

The video shows Otieno initially leaning against a chair, but people pounce on him at 4:28 p.m.

At 4:40 p.m. — 12 minutes later — Otieno appears to be unresponsive, being rolled onto his side and then onto his back, with chest compressions starting at 4:42 p.m., according to the video. Apparently, a defibrillator was also used. The medical technician covers him with a white sheet around 5:48 pm.

Murder allegations

Last week, a Virginia prosecutor charged seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies and three hospital employees with second-degree murder. On Tuesday, they were indicted by a grand jury.

Alternates are Randy Joseph Boyer, Dwayne Alan Bramble, Jermaine LaVar Branch, Bradley Thomas Diess, Tabitha Rene Levere, Brandon Edwards Rogers and Kayell Dajour Sanders.

The staff at Central Public Hospital are Darian Malik Blackwell, Wavey Lavon Jones, and Sadarius Devon Williams.

Irvo Otieno (right) with his mother and brother in an undated photograph. Ben Crump Law/AFP – Getty Images

It is unclear what was said during the meeting because there is no sound on the video. Prosecutors said state police investigators were told that Otieno had become violent during his hospitalization.

Lawyers for the two defendants tried to block the release of the video, arguing that it could influence the composition of potential jurors and interfere with a fair trial.

After footage of the meeting was shown to the Otieno family and their lawyers last week, Caroline Ouko said her son was “treated like a dog, worse than a dog.”

“He was killed. They choked my child’s breath. They killed my child,” she said.

“What we just saw…was a comment about how inhumane law enforcement officers treat people who have a mental health crisis as criminals, and not as people who need help,” the lawyer told reporters on Civil Rights Ben Crump.

“You can see they are putting their back into it. Every part of his body is pushed with absolute brutality.” said Mark Krudis, an attorney for the Otieno family.

Four deputies weighed at least 250 pounds each, with the heaviest of them weighing 320 pounds, according to court documents.

Levere’s lawyer was not listed online. Lawyer Williams said on Tuesday that her client is innocent.

Williams, 27, of North Dinwiddie, “did not commit second-degree murder, as the Commonwealth claims. There will be no evidence that Mr. Williams acted with malice or that he in any way intended or caused Mr. Otieno’s death.” “Williams had only minimal physical contact with Mr. Otieno and did not use any lethal force during the incident. Mr. Williams looks forward to his day in court when he can fully rebut the charges against him,” she said. Ronda Kualyan in a statement.

Lawyers for the remaining defendants did not immediately respond to overnight requests for comment.

Disse’s lawyer, Edward K. Nickel, has previously said his client is looking forward to defending himself.

Carey Bowen, representing Branch, said his client has been with the department for 24 years and that “none of them is known to be a bully.”

“Smothered to Death”

The prosecutor’s office said that the deputies took Otieno to the hospital at 15:58 for hospitalization. Instead, “he died of asphyxia from being strangled, thanks to at least seven people, including the defendant, being on top of him and holding him down,” Commonwealth Attorney Anne Cabell Baskerville said at a court hearing on Wednesday. . courtroom video broadcast by Richmond-based NBC affiliate WWBT.

Otieno was initially arrested on March 3 after Henrico police responded to a possible burglary call, the police department said.

Officers placed Otieno under an “emergency detention order,” the department said in a statement, with Virginia law stating that such warrants are used in cases of mental illness.

Officers then rushed Otieno to Parham Doctors’ Hospital, where a crisis reception center was located, and the police department stated that Otieno “began to physically abuse the officers.” He was taken to a local jail run by the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office, where he faced multiple charges, including three counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct in a hospital, and vandalism.

The previous incident was deemed a “mental health issue”

The Police Department said officers also responded to another incident the previous day, March 2, in connection with a “suspicious situation report” in which the complainant said he was concerned about the behavior of his neighbor. The neighbor has been identified as Otieno, police said. The call was reclassified as a “mental health issue” and no charges were filed, the report said.

State police were called to investigate Otieno’s death around 7:30 pm on March 6, days after the initial arrest.

The Henrico County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Henrico County Sheriff Alice Gregory said in a statement that the office is “cooperating fully with the Virginia State Police investigation.”

“Separately, we are conducting our own independent review of this incident,” the statement said.

The Otieno family, who has roots in Kenya, says he was a selfless man who cared about justice. According to his relatives, he was also a hip-hop artist who could write songs in five minutes.

Leon Ochieng, his brother, described his younger brother’s death as “a tragic, senseless, inhuman nightmare”.

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