New Video Shows Virginia Deputies Piling On Handcuffed Black Man Who Later Died

 

 

Irvo Otieno, 28, died after an encounter with law enforcement at a state hospital in Petersburg, Virginia.
Ben Crump Law/Handout via REUTERS

New surveillance footage from a Virginia state hospital shows at least 10 sheriff’s deputies and hospital workers piling on top of Irvo Otieno, a handcuffed Black man who died of asphyxia soon after.

A Virginia prosecutor has charged seven deputies and three hospital staff members with second-degree murder in the 28-year-old’s death, and more charges may be coming.

Otieno was forcefully restrained for about 11 minutes before he ultimately stopped moving and then died in police custody, according to the footage, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

The video of the surveillance footage, which the Post edited down to nine minutes, begins with Henrico County sheriff’s deputies and hospital staff dragging Otieno into a room in the hospital on March 6. He is wearing handcuffs and leg irons, but at least 10 people pile on top of him at various times throughout the video as he lies on the ground. The video ends with hospital staff administering CPR and using a defibrillator in an unsuccessful attempt to save his life.

The Henrico County Sheriff’s Office did not return a request for comment.

The Post said the hospital surveillance footage shows staff draping a white sheet over Otieno an hour and eight minutes after they began resuscitation efforts. Ann Cabell Baskervill, the Virginia prosecutor who charged the seven deputies and three staff members, said Otieno died of asphyxiation.

Henrico Police Department officers detained Otieno on March 3 during what a family attorney, Mark Krudys, said was a mental health episode. Officers took him to a hospital for evaluation and then to jail, which is when they said he was “physically assaultive” to officers — an allegation Otieno’s family disputes.

Krudys told the Post that Otieno’s family’s attorneys have seen surveillance video from the jail that shows him naked in a cell, being “battered” and pepper-sprayed by deputies. That video has not been made public. Deputies then took Otiento to the hospital, where the fatal incident occurred.

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