Video shows Virginia MPs and health officials struggling to keep black man

(Reuters) – Sheriff’s deputies led the handcuffed Irvo Otieno into a room where they and medical staff struggled with the 28-year-old black man on the ground for several minutes before his body went limp, CCTV obtained by the Washington Post shows.

According to Dinwiddie County Commonwealth Attorney Ann Cabell Baskerville, Otieno died shortly after the March 6 incident, when he was admitted to the Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia. St. Petersburg is in the center of the state, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Richmond.

His death is the latest death of a black person during a clash with law enforcement to draw national attention. Three former mental hospital employees and seven Henrico County, Virginia sheriff’s deputies were arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with his death.

The nine minutes of footage posted on the Washington Post website was part of a 27-minute footage obtained by the newspaper from court records, he said. The video surveillance was expected to be released by officials later on Tuesday.

In the video, Otieno is seen being carried into a room by six officers, and he appears to struggle as he is placed on the ground. At times, up to 10 deputies and hospital workers hold him back while another six assistants and hospital workers watch, and another appears to put shackles on his legs. His hands are held behind his back.

He was later seen hunched over and motionless as he was rolled over by officers who began chest compressions, and later they brought in a defibrillator and attempted to revive him.

It was not clear from the edited video how long Otieno had been held.

On Thursday, the family reviewed surveillance video. The medical examiner’s preliminary report states that Otieno, who immigrated to the United States from Kenya at the age of four, died of asphyxiation. Prosecutors say they gathered evidence and were told he was physically restrained during the detention process because he was “belligerent.”

Officials do not rule out new charges or arrests.

Authorities did not say why Otieno was taken into custody or why he was transferred to a psychiatric hospital.

The deputies have been placed on administrative leave and the sheriff’s office is conducting an independent investigation into the incident.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago)

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