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Surveillance video shows the 11 minutes Irvo Otieno was smothered to death by Virginia Sheriff’s deputies and hospital staff.
The surveillance video that Dinwiddie County’s Chief Prosecutor Ann Cabell Baskervill planned to release at the beginning of this week was obtained by The Washington Post by clicking on links from a public court filing Tuesday.
Otieno was taken into emergency custody on March 3 after experiencing a mental health crisis. After spending three days in a local jail, Otieno was being transferred to Central State Hospital, a psychiatric facility, when Baskervill said he was “smothered to death.”
Baskervill charged seven Henrico Sheriff’s Deputies and three Central State Hospital “special management technicians” with second-degree murder for the killing of 28-year-old Irvo Noel Otieno at the psychiatric hospital.
The surveillance video, which has no sound, shows Otieno’s final moments as Henrico County Sheriff’s Deputies drag him while he is handcuffed and shackled into a hospital admissions room.
The video is “extremely clear, extremely alarming,” Baskervill said in court last week. “They smothered him to death. He died of asphyxia due to being smothered.”
Otieno Family Views Surveillance Video, Wants Footage Released After Officers Charged
On Thursday March 16, Otieno’s family viewed the hospital’s surveillance video in Baskervill’s office before holding a press conference outside the Dinwiddie courthouse. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, joined them outside the Dinwiddie courthouse during the press conference.
“My son was treated like a dog, worse than a dog,” Otieno’s mother said. “I saw it with my own eyes on the video.”
Baskervill filed a criminal information charge, a charge not needing a grand jury’s vote, against the sheriff’s deputies in an attempt to “protect other Henrico County Jail residents,” she told NPR.
On Tuesday, a grand jury issued indictments on charges of second-degree murder against the 10 people who were charged last week.