“Our responsibly was the safety of Jamal Sutherland and he died in our facility, so we need to examine that,” Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano stated.
Jamal Sutherland died on the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston on January 5, 2021, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office stated. Footage reveals deputies pepper spraying and tasing Sutherland, 31, a number of occasions after he appeared to withstand leaving his cell for a bail listening to.
Sutherland was pronounced useless after makes an attempt by medical workers on the facility to save lots of his life, in line with a information launch issued by the sheriff’s workplace on the time.
Jamal’s mom, Amy Sutherland, criticized the best way her son was detained. She was not notified when he was taken to jail from the psychological well being facility he was in, regardless that she was his guardian, she stated. She additionally accused the deputies of teasing and frightening her son.
“When they are tasing him, when they are throwing pepper spray, Jamal begins to praise God. Hallelujah, that’s who Jamal was,” Amy Sutherland advised CNN’s Don Lemon in an interview Friday.
Graziano stated she has already carried out a number of modifications in protocol together with permitting detainees of the jail to waive their look at bond hearings, including know-how to permit for distant bond hearings in addition to an unbiased evaluation achieved on all insurance policies and procedures.
US Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina’s 1st District took challenge with the truth that Sutherland’s demise occurred as deputies tried to take away him from the cell for a bond listening to.
“There’s no constitutional requirement for someone to go to a bond hearing,” she advised CNN. “An individual, can refuse to attend a bond hearing.”
“You should never receive the death penalty for missing a bond hearing, or for being mentally ill,” she stated.
To higher reply to psychological well being wants of detainees on the detention middle, Graziano stated she has carried out a coverage to verify residents get medicines they want however acknowledged the sheriff’s workplace wants extra psychological well being professionals on workers — they’ve one — and wishes assist with coaching and future coverage.
‘Jamal was an ideal man,’ mom says
“Mental illness does not give anybody the right to put their hands on my child,” Amy Sutherland stated in a information convention Friday, describing him as “an example of what I wanted him to be.”
“I want y’all to know Jamal was a great man. He had faults like everybody else, but he was a great man,” she stated. “I’m content that God has Jamal.”
Family lawyer Mark A. Peper stated the household would endeavor to reply Sutherland’s final query: “What is the meaning of this?”
“People with mental health issues are entitled to the same exact civil rights as you and me and every other healthy, wealthy person in this world,” Peper stated.
The two deputies concerned in Sutherland’s demise have been initially suspended for 30 days and are actually on desk responsibility, stated Graziano, who was elected in November and started her duties as sheriff on the day of the incident.
Charleston County Solicitor Scarlett Wilson has stated her workplace is reviewing the case and she is going to determine about whether or not anybody can be criminally charged “before the end of June.”
In a press release launched with the movies, Graziano known as the incident “a horrible tragedy.”
“Our officers removed Mr. Sutherland from his cell that morning in order to ensure that he received a timely bond hearing, as required by law,” Graziano stated. “Their efforts were complicated by the increasing effects that Mr. Sutherland was suffering as a result of mental illness.”
She additionally supplied the household her “sincere condolences and apologies” for what occurred.
“My heart goes out to them,” she stated.
While there are frequent cases of bodily confrontations with detainees on the jail, she stated she thinks about Sutherland’s demise and what she noticed on video.
“I’m still horrified,” she stated. “It bothered me.”
Sutherland was tased no less than 6 occasions, deputy says
Peper stated Sutherland had requested his household for assist coping with his psychological sickness on December 31, 2020. The household had taken him to an area psychological well being middle the place they hoped he can be secure.
According to North Charleston Mayor Keith Sumney, officers responded to Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health Center on January four after calls of a “large scale fight” that had “erupted between patients and staff.” In physique digital camera footage launched by North Charleston, officers have been advised Sutherland had punched a workers member and threw a fax machine.
According to Peper, an altercation occurred between two sufferers aside from Sutherland, and that the middle had known as 911 in response. While police have been responding, Peper stated, “Jamal became agitated” and intervened in an effort to assist.
“Given the confusion, he is alleged to have committed a misdemeanor offense of simple assault on a nurse staff member” on the middle, Peper stated.
In a press release, the well being middle’s CEO Timothy A. Miller stated the workers had “followed facility protocols” of their try and deliver the scenario below management and that police have been known as to additional “help protect the safety of our patients and staff.”
On the morning he died, Sutherland was scheduled to attend a bail listening to for a misdemeanor assault cost, in line with a press release from Wilson, the county solicitor. Deputies on the detention middle have been answerable for shifting Sutherland from his jail cell, in line with the assertion.
At the start of the footage from one of many physique cameras, a deputy is heard saying Sutherland has refused to depart his cell and that he took “an aggressive stance.” The deputy additionally says a captain has been notified and that the decide required Sutherland seem earlier than the decide. Deputies have been going to extract Sutherland from the cell whereas medical personnel have been current, he says on the video.
The video reveals deputies asking Sutherland to place his arms by the cell door so he might be handcuffed and brought to courtroom. Sutherland is seen in his cell and heard yelling, “I’m warning you, I’m warning you.” Deputies observe Sutherland has a spoon in his hand.
About 15 minutes move earlier than a deputy deploys pepper spray into Sutherland’s cell. Sutherland is heard coughing and wraps a blanket round his head. Deputies deploy one other spherical of pepper spray a couple of minutes later, as Sutherland stands within the nook of the cell, overlaying his face with the blanket.
Deputies quickly unlock the cell door and tase Sutherland, who’s heard yelling out in ache. While on the bottom, Sutherland is ordered to “slide to the door” and “get on your stomach.” Video reveals him sitting down, inching towards the door.
“What is the meaning of this?” he asks.
The deputies enter the cell to cuff Sutherland and one tells him not to withstand. “I’m not resisting, officer,” says Sutherland. Deputies attempt to handcuff Sutherland along with his arms behind his again, and a deputy says “loosen up” earlier than utilizing his left hand to drive Sutherland to the bottom.
The sound of a Taser is heard once more as Sutherland cries out. He’s seen flat on the bottom, his legs flailing as deputies attempt to achieve management, yelling at him, “put your hands behind your back, Sutherland.” A male deputy has a knee on Sutherland’s again between his shoulder blades whereas a feminine deputy sits on his decrease again, a knee on either side of Sutherland.
Sutherland is finally handcuffed and slid out of his cell into a standard space, the place deputies take away Taser barbs from his back and front and carry a immobile Sutherland into a close-by wheelchair. A medic enters the body, and a deputy asks, “Will you check him?”
The medic checks Sutherland’s pulse and says he is respiratory earlier than asking deputies to place him again on the ground. More medics quickly arrive to assist, and one says they really feel a pulse.
Deputies clarify what occurred. “He got tased about probably six to eight times, at least,” one says.
EMS is known as and paramedics arrive about 12 minutes later, finally hooking Sutherland as much as an automated chest compression machine. After about 35 minutes of attempting to revive Sutherland, the paramedics cease the machine. A couple of minutes later, a blanket is positioned over him.
CNN’s Steve Almasy, Dave Alsup, Natasha Chen, Kevin Conlon, Phil Gast, Alta Spells and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.