Updated March 17, 2023 at two:49 PM EDT

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Prosecutors say black musician Irv Otieno was choked to death March six in Henrico, Virginia, by police officers who brutalized him although transferring him from the county jail to a mental wellness facility, an incident that an lawyer representing the Otieno family members in compared to the 2020 police killing of George Floyd.

the police pinned him to the ground and suffocated him, prosecutors say. (Courtesy of Ben Crump Really like by means of AP) Connected Press

Essential information

Commonwealth District Lawyer Ann Cabell Baskerville mentioned the “particularly clear” and “particularly alarming” video shows deputies restraining Irv Otien, a 28-year-old black musician, placing their physique weight on him and an officer’s knee on his neck for 12 years. minutes shortly right after getting admitted to Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County.

Ten people today — seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies and 3 Central State Hospital staff — have been charged with second-degree murder.

Lawyers for the Otieno family members mentioned officers “forcefully rushed” Otieno, who was handcuffed, naked and surrounded by feces in his jail cell, onto a metal bed and a challenging wall ahead of transferring him to a mental institution exactly where seven deputies, 4 of which weighed at least 250 pounds, pushed on “every component [Otieno’s] Physique.”

Otieno’s family members and lawyers mentioned Otieno did not resist or pose a threat to officers and appeared to be “among lifeless and unconscious” in the video, which will not be released to the public.

The Workplace of the Chief Healthcare Examiner identified Otien’s lead to of death as suffocation in a preliminary report.

The neighborhood Henrico Fraternal Order of Police Lodge four union mentioned in a statement that Otien’s death was tragic, but defended the officers, saying the job of a police officer is “tricky” due to the fact of the “possibility of getting criminally charged in the line of duty.”

Caleb Kershner, an lawyer representing 1 of the deputies, referred to as the second-degree murder charge “an intense measure.”

Essential background

Henrico County police took Otien into custody on March three responding to a report of a feasible burglary. A neighbor referred to as police more than issues that Otieno had been collecting lawn lights from the neighbor’s yard, which Mark Crudis, the Otieno family’s lawyer, mentioned was component of a mental wellness crisis. Otieno’s mother attempted to de-escalate the officers who responded to the incident, Crudis mentioned. Officers took Otien to a hospital for evaluation, exactly where authorities say he assaulted 3 officers, who then took him to a neighborhood jail and charged him with assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct at a hospital and vandalism. Lawyers for Otieno’s family members mentioned that in the course of his 3-day remain in jail, ahead of getting taken to a mental wellness facility, Otieno was pepper-sprayed and denied the mental wellness medication he necessary.


Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump compared the incident to the Might 2020 killing of George Floyd, as each Floyd and Otien had been violently held to the ground by police officers. Crump has offered legal solutions to the households of unarmed black victims of police violence, such as Floyd and Breona Taylor.

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Ten people today charged with second-degree murder will seem ahead of a Virginia grand jury on Tuesday. Baskerville also mentioned further charges and arrests are pending.

Important Quotas

“It really is actually shocking that nearly 3 years right after the brutal police killing of George Floyd, a different family members is grieving for a loved 1 who allegedly died in precisely the similar way,” Crump mentioned.

Extra reading

Ten people today connected to the death of a 28-year-old black man in a mental wellness facility are facing murder charges. Here’s what we know (CNN)

The video shows deputies choking a man from Va. 11 minutes ahead of death, family members says (The Washington Post)

Video of Virginia man who died in hospital shows ‘absolute brutality’ by deputies, family members says (NBC News)

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I am an explainer and trends reporter for Forbes. I previously worked on Forbes’ wealth group exactly where I covered billionaires. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Might and spent that summer season operating on the Forbes Very best Colleges list. Prior to that, I served as news editor for Penn’s student newspaper, The Each day Pennsylvanian, as nicely as a digital intern for NBC News and a foreign service intern for Vox.

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