Prosecutors Plan To Release Video Of Irvo Otieno, Who Died In Police Custody

Prosecutors Plan To Release Video Of Irvo Otieno, Who Died In Police Custody

Prosecutors plan to release the video of Irvo Otieno, a Black man who died while allegedly being subdued by seven sheriffs and three state hospital workers.  

According to The Associated Press, Otieno died while in handcuffs and leg irons, as he was being held down, at a mental hospital in Dinwiddie County, VA. 

Otieno’s attorney, Mark Krudys, said the video is “twelve agonizing minutes of deputies pushing down and smothering Otieno.” 

“You can see that they’re putting their back into it. Every part of his body is being pushed down with absolute brutality,” Krudys said.

Otieno’s mother, Caroline Ouko, has seen the video.

“What I saw today was heartbreaking, America. It was disturbing. It was traumatic. My son was tortured,” Ouko said.  

AP News also reported that the video showed authorities’ disinterest in helping Otieno after realizing that he was dead. According to USA Today, the footage showed that deputies waited more than three hours to report Otieno’s death. 

Ten people—seven sheriffs and three hospital workers—have been charged with second-degree murder. 

Otieno was arrested for suspicion of burglary, assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, and vandalism. He died days after being arrested. 

AP News reported that Otieno had struggled with mental health, and was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time of his arrest. 

Attorneys for the people arrested have not seen the video, AP News reported. 

“They show the plaintiffs’ attorneys the video. But we’re representing these people charged with murder that are locked up. It’s really disappointing. It seems like it’s more important to curry public favor, to try the case in the media, instead of letting the criminal justice process work the way it’s supposed to work,” defense attorney Peter Baruch told The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

This comes months after Tyre Nichols’ death made national news after five Black Memphis police officers were accused of Nichols’ death and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression.