Police custody death of Irvo Otieno leads to charges and smothering allegations.

Seven sheriff’s deputies and three hospital workers have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Irvo Otieno, a 28-year-old Black man who died on March 6 while being held down at a state mental hospital in Petersburg, Virginia. Video of Otieno’s death exists but has not yet been publicly released. The footage is described as horrific and violent by family members and attorneys who have seen it.

Otieno was arrested following an emergency custody order after he became physically assaultive towards officers responding to a suspected burglary call on March 3rd. He was charged with counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct in a hospital, vandalism before his admission into Central State Hospital where he later died from asphyxiation caused during the admissions process.

Ten people so far have been charged with second-degree murder in connection to Otieno’s death including seven Henrico County Sheriff’s deputies were charged Tuesday; additional charges were announced Thursday against three people employed by the hospital.

The Associated Press identified those involved: Randy Joseph Boyer (57), Dwayne Alan Bramble (37), Jermaine Lavar Branch (45), Bradley Thomas Disse (43); Tabitha Renee Levere(50); Brandon Edwards Rodgers(48)and Kaiyell Dajour Sanders(30). The mental health workers are: Darian M.Blackwell,(23) Wavie L.Jones,(34) Sadarius Williams.(27)

Ben Crump,a nationally known civil-rights attorney working alongside Oteino’s family said “It is truly shocking that nearly three years after the brutal killing of George Floyd by police another family is grieving…”

Oteino had aspirations for hip-hop music career having moved to America from Kenya when he was four-years-old.

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