Kenyan, Irvo Otieno dies in US police custody


According to CNN, 7 deputy sheriffs in Central Virginia are in custody after they turned themselves in on Tuesday, 14th March after having been accused of involvement in the death of Kenyan born, American raised Irvo Otieno.

State authorities in the state of Virginia are investigating his death at the hands of police officers. Irvo Otieno who was 28 years old died on March 6 while being transferred to a state mental health facility.

An official told the court on Wednesday that Otieno died as he was being transferred from a Henrico County jail after the officers held him down for 12 minutes after he became combative.

“They smothered him to death. He died of asphyxia due to being smothered,” Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill said.

Otieno was in handcuffs and his legs were shackled during the incident which CNN said was captured on video.

“The family is grief-stricken after learning of the brutal nature of Irvo’s death and his inhumane treatment in the hours preceding his death,” Otieno’s family, Mark Krudys told CNN.

The case adds to several previous incidents where Black people have died at the hands of police officers in the US sparking anger and widespread condemnation.

George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest spurred nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

Ex-officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in April 2021 and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.

A video taken by a bystander showed Chauvin holding a handcuffed Floyd on the ground with a knee on his neck for nine minutes with help from three other officers.

The death was ruled a homicide caused by a combination of the officer’s use of force and the presence of Floyd’s underlying health conditions and the presence of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.

CNN said Otieno was put in custody on March 3 but was unable to take his medication for a mental illness for the entire period preceding his death.

Police responding to a possible burglary incident placed him under emergency custody with help from the county’s Crisis Intervention Team. His mother was present during the arrest.

The intervention was in line with Virginia law which allows a person to be placed under emergency custody if officers have reason to believe they could harm themselves or others as a result of mental illness.

Krudys said Otieno said police were involved after Otieno was accused of collecting some lights that were on the lawn.

“It was not done out of any type of wrongful intent. He was just troubled at the time,” the attorney told CNN.

Otieno was placed under custody by officers from Henrico County for evaluation at a local hospital but he became “physically assaultive towards officers,” prompting his transfer to the mental facility.

He died during the transfer process to the Central State Hospital.




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My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay