Today (March 21), a Virginia prosecutor released the surveillance video that showed Irvo Otieno’s final moments before he died during intake at Central State Hospital. According to CNN, the footage, which doesn’t include audio, began with Otieno being forced into a room while cuffed by his hands and feet. They then dragged him into an “upright seated position” on the ground with his “back against a chair.” Several minutes later, eight employees and police officers pinned Otieno, whose body jerked, to the ground after he turned onto his side.
While the outlet noted that there wasn’t a clear view of Otieno throughout the footage, viewers could see one of the deputies allegedly lay across Otieno as his associates and workers forced him on his stomach, then back. Multiple officers reportedly attempted to restrain the aspiring rapper using their knees, similar to how George Floyd was killed in 2020. After 12 minutes of being forced onto the ground, one of the deputies was seen trying to check Otieno’s neck pulse, but he was unresponsive. An additional three minutes went by before someone administered CPR to Otieno, who was still cuffed, the outlet added.
The video was initially set not to be released, but upon approval by Otieno’s family, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill decided to release it to the public. “My son was treated like a dog, worse than a dog,” Caroline Ouko, Otieno’s mother, said at a news conference. “I saw it with my own eyes on the video.” Baskervill’s office also released multiple 911 calls the facility employees reportedly made to report that Otieno was unconscious and had been “aggressive.” She revealed to the outlet that she believed workers made the calls after the Kenya native had already passed away.
Authorities initially encountered Otieno on March 3 after responding to a report of a possible burglary. After finding the 28-year-old, he was placed under emergency custody. Otieno’s mother revealed that he did struggle with mental illness. After being arrested, he was taken to a hospital and then to jail with several charges after Henrico cops alleged he was “assaultive toward officers.” On May 6, law enforcement transported Otieno from the jail to the facility, where he passed away. Thus far, seven Virginia deputies and three employees at the facility have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Otieno’s case.
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