Irvo Otieno Murder Charges Dropped: 5 Cops Accused Of Smothering Black Man To Death Avoid Accountability, For Now

Irvo Otieno. | Source: Ben Crump Law

Five of the seven Virginia police officers who were charged with murdering an unarmed Black man at a mental health hospital are no longer facing formal accusations over their roles in the death last year, according to a new report.

Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Mann on Friday moved to drop the charges against the Henrico County Sheriff’s Deputies who were charged with the second-degree murder of Irvo Otieno, whose “traumatic” death at Central State Hospital was recorded on video while he was being pinned down by several officers and healthcare staff at a mental health hospital.

“According to documents obtained by CBS 6, Mann said she made her decision after the court’s refusal to allow her to reschedule the order of trials,” the local news outlet reported.

The charges that were being faced by Henrico County Sheriff’s Deputies Jermaine Branch, Randy Boyer, Bradley Disse, Tabitha Levere and Dwayne Bramble could eventually be reinstated. But if Mann’s motion is granted, only Henrico County Sheriff’s Deputies Brandon Edwards Rodgers and Kaiyell Dajour Sanders would remain facing the murder charges in the immediate interim.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Otieno’s family, has scheduled a press conference for Monday to address the update on the case.

What happened to Irvo Otieno?

On March 6, 2023, 28-year-old Irvo Otieno died after he was pinned down by several officers and healthcare staff at a mental health hospital in Virginia.

During the March 6 incident, Otieno was being transferred from a Henrico County jail to Central State Hospital, a Dinwiddie official said. According to family members, Otieno had a long-running history of mental health struggles.

Initially, he was taken to a Richmond area hospital for psychiatric treatment March 3, but allegedly, he became violent and combative at the facility.

Otieno was criminally charged and transferred to jail where he was denied access to crucial medication for his condition, family members said.

His death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.

Video released of the incident shows several officers forcing Otieno to lie face down flat on the floor. At times, his body can barely be seen in the video due to the number of officers pinning him down to the ground with their weight.

Officials from the Dinwiddie County Commonwealth office also released a 911 phone call that offered more details into the harrowing incident. According to CNN, in the audio, a caller repeatedly asked for medical assistance after Otieno stopped breathing. They claimed he was “very aggressive” and combative prior to losing oxygen.

Seven deputies and three hospital employ​​ees were indicted by a grand jury on second-degree murder charges, although charges against the hospital employees were dropped several months later.

In September of last year, Otieno’s family agreed to an $8.5 million settlement with the state of Virginia, Henrico County, and the sheriff whose deputies were involved in his death.

At the time, Crump said the family was”pleased that they were able to find a resolution outside of court in a manner that honors Irvo’s life.”

According to the settlement agreement, although the state, county and the sheriff agreed to collectively pay the $8.5 million to Otieno’s family, they did not admit any liability in the death.

The Associated Press found that the terms of the agreement included a payment of about $5 million to Otieno’s mother and siblings and another $3 million to cover funeral and burial expenses as well as attorneys’ fees.

This is America.

SEE ALSO:

Justice For Alvin Motley: Suspected White Supremacist Found Guilty Of Murdering Black Man Over Loud Music

‘For Our Children:’ Trailer For Documentary About Black Mothers And Police Brutality Released By Ava Duvernay’s Company


The post Irvo Otieno Murder Charges Dropped: 5 Cops Accused Of Smothering Black Man To Death Avoid Accountability, For Now appeared first on NewsOne.

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