In the coming days, Virginia prosecutors plan to release the 12-minute video of Irvo Otieno’s final moments before he passed away after being smothered by medical personnel and deputies at a mental health facility at the Central State Hospital.
As previously reported by REVOLT, the 28-year-old was arrested on March 3 when police found him while responding to a possible burglary call. Otieno was placed under an emergency custody order and transferred to the Henrico County Jail West before landing at the hospital’s facility. It was there that the aspiring hip hop artist, who had a past with mental illness that required medical treatment, met his demise.
The beloved son was bound at the ankles and hands when deputies pulled him from a chair and pinned him to the ground after claiming he had been combative. For 12 minutes, the law enforcement members and three hospital employees held him down with their knees pressed into his back until he lay motionless.
“When you see that video, you will be shocked,” said Attorney Mark Krudys, who, along with Benjamin Crump, is representing the family, at a press conference on Thursday (March 16). “The force of them — you can see that they’re putting their back into it. Every single part of his body is being pushed down with absolute brutality. You cannot even see his image many times.”
Family members have also viewed the gut-wrenching footage. “My son was tortured,” exclaimed Caroline Ouko, Otieno’s mother, at the press conference. “At what point do we consider mental illness a crime? Can someone explain to me why my brother’s not here right now? Someone explain to me why my mother can’t sleep, can’t eat — we’re broken,” said Leon Ochieng, Otieno’s older brother.
Thus far, 10 people have been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Otieno’s death: deputies Bradley Disse, Brandon Rodgers, Dwayne Bramble, Jermaine Branch, Kaiyell Sanders, Randy Boyer, Tabitha Levere, and hospital employees Darian Blackwell, Sadarius Williams, and Wavie Jones.