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The family Of A Black Virginia Man Claims Otieno’s Civil Rights Were Violated

Attorney Ben Crump (left) is pictured here at a press conference on March 16 alongside members of Irvo Otieno's family in Dinwiddie, Virginia. (Photo: CNN Newsource)

I’ll never see a grandchild…because someone refused to help him,’ says the victim’s mother. Nobody stood up to stop what was happening.’

The family of a Black Virginia man who died after deputies at a state mental hospital handcuffed, shackled, and pinned him to the ground demanded that the U.S. According to reports, the Department of Justice will intervene in the case after viewing video of the incident on Thursday.

After watching video of the incident captured by cameras at the mental hospital, the family of Irvo Otieno, 28, decried the treatment Otieno received at a local jail and hospital, where he eventually died on March 6.

According to the Associated Press, the family claims Otieno’s civil rights were violated and has asked higher courts to intervene in the case.

The family of a Black Virginia man claims Otieno’s rights were violated(Photo: Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

“It is truly shocking that nearly three years after the brutal killing of George Floyd by police, another family is grieving a loved one who allegedly died in nearly the exact same manner — being pinned down by police for 12 agonizing minutes,” Ben Crump, the family’s attorney, said on Thursday.

Crump has fought in some of the most notable recent cases involving Black people dying in police custody, such as George Floyd.

Mark Krudys, another attorney representing Otieno’s family, watched the video footage with family members in court.

According to Krudys, video shows seven deputies facing murder charges pushing Otieno to the ground while he was cuffed and had his legs restrained.

“You can tell they’re putting their heart and soul into it,” Krudys said. “Every part of his body is being brutally pushed down, and you can’t even see his image many times.”

The video shown in court has not been made public.

So far, ten people have been charged with second-degree murder in Otieno’s death. Seven Henrico County Sheriff’s deputies were charged on Tuesday, as were three hospital employees, whose charges were announced on Thursday.

According to the Associated Press, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill stated during the first hearing that Otieno was suffocated to death and that the officers had no justification for placing him on the floor as he was being checked into the hospital.

On Thursday, Baskervill did not immediately respond to questions about the incident from Fox News Digital.

She announced the additional charges against the hospital employees in a press release on Thursday: Darian M. Blackwell, 23, of Petersburg; Wavie L. Jones, 34, of Chesterfield; and Sadarius D. Williams, 27, of North Dinwiddie.

All three suspects were held without bond, and it was unclear whether they had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

Krudys claimed that hospital staff lacked urgency in assisting Otieno after deputies discovered he was “lifeless and not breathing.”

“And then you see people standing around with their hands in their pockets and their heads down,” he explained. “And there is a significant amount of time before any kind of rescue effort is initiated.”

Caroline Ouko, mother of Irvo Otieno, holds a portrait of her son with attorney Ben Crump, left, her older son, Leon Ochieng and attorney Mark Krudys at the Dinwiddie Courthouse in Dinwiddie, Va., on Thursday, March 16, 2023. There is goodness in his music and that’s all I’m left with now — he’s gone,” Otieno’s mother, Caroline Ouko, said at the news conference while clutching a framed photo of her son.(Photo: Daniel Sangjib Min/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

According to Krudys, Otieno, whose family is from Kenya, was a deeply loved and well-regarded young man, an aspiring musician and a well-known high school athlete in the area.

Caroline Ouko, Otieno’s mother, held a framed photo of her son and told the press in attendance on Thursday that all she has now is goodness in his music because he is gone.

“I won’t be able to attend his wedding,” she explained. “I’ll never see a grandchild…because someone refused to assist him, and no one stood up to stop what was happening.”

According to Henrico County Police, he was arrested for the first time on March 3. According to a news release from the department, officers responded to a possible burglary and encountered Otieno before taking him into custody and transporting him to a hospital for evaluation.

Otieno “became physically assaultive toward officers, who arrested him,” according to police, and was taken to a Henrico Sheriff’s Office jail, where he was charged.

Otieno was admitted to the Central State Hospital, located south of Richmond, on March 6.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not released the cause of death for Otieno.

Read Also: A Colorado Man Was Detained For Murder A Second Time

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