New video footage shows several police officers huddled over the body of a young African-American man, who died of suffocation in police custody on March 6. Irvo Otieno, 28, died while waiting in a room at Central Virginia State Hospital (USA), where he was sent from a Henrico County jail.
Surveillance cameras recorded Otieno, handcuffed and in leg shackles, being escorted to the admission room of the health center, located in Dinwiddie County, at 4:19 p.m. local time (8:19 p.m. GMT) on March 6.
The nine minutes of video posted on the Washington Post's website were part of 27 minutes of footage the newspaper obtained through legal leaks. Dinwiddie County Commonwealth Prosecutor Ann Cabell Baskervil Baskervill has said full video of the incident would be released this week.
The recording shows how the young man is forced to lie on the ground by the agents and, ten minutes later, after he turned on his side with three people holding him, more agents and health workers come to immobilize him. Sometimes up to 10 officers and hospital workers hold him down
Otieno is turned on his back, where several policemen seem to hold him with their knees and an officer grabs his head by grabbing his braided hair.
After 12 minutes immobilized, an agent is seen trying to take his pulse, but Otieno does not respond and three minutes they try to revive him.
Last Thursday, three hospital workers were charged in Otieno's death, joining the seven officers from the Henrico sheriff's office who were arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Otieno had been arrested and placed in emergency custody, used with individuals who may have mental illness, after being charged with assaulting a Henrico County police officer on March 3, local authorities said.
The day after he was arrested, Otieno was taken to the state hospital, where he later died. A preliminary report from medical examiners revealed that Otieno, who immigrated to the United States from Kenya when he was four years old, died of suffocation. The officers claimed they had restrained him during the intake process because he was "combative." Authorities have not ruled out further charges or arrests,
The case of this young African-American comes just over two months after the death of Tire Nichols, a black man who was beaten to death by police in Memphis, sparking outrage across the country.
The US police have been accused by human rights organizations of using violence disproportionately towards the black population in the country.
Nearly a third of all people killed by police in the US in 2021 were African-Americans, despite being just 13% of the country's population, according to the organization Mapping Police Violence.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project