Irvo Otieno’s family speaks out after indictments and surveillance video released

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 11:11 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - At a press conference Tuesday night, the family of Irvo Otieno spoke out after videos released Tuesday showed the final moments of Otieno’s life and ten people were indicted for his death.

“We allowed you, his family allowed you to watch that because we want you to feel exactly what we feel as a family,” Leon Ochieng, Otieno’s brother, said.

One video from inside the Henrico Regional Jail West on March 6 shows deputies surrounding Otieno’s cell. Then there is some type of commotion.

The prosecutor said Otieno was handcuffed in the video, and you can see a deputy pepper spray Otieno through his door slot.

Six sheriff’s deputies then enter the cell, and deputies start punching Otieno as described by the Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Nearly 15 minutes later, he is carried out in handcuffs and loaded into an SUV to drive him to Central State Hospital.

From there, the other video goes inside Central State, where more than a dozen people surround Otieno, who is handcuffed and shackled at the legs.

The video shows deputies on top of him. After trying to restrain Otieno for an extended period, the video shows he is no longer moving, and deputies search for a pulse.

Family attorney Benjamin Crump said some of the deputies put their knee on Otieno’s neck for more than 11 minutes.

“Can you imagine the agony that Irvo was enduring while all those seconds added up to minutes,” Crump said.

State leaders, including Gov. Glenn Youngkin, commented after watching the video on Tuesday.

Otieno’s family said they want to see that change happen.

“Our governor, what you said about our family if you really do empathize and you feel what we feel, do something,” Ochieng said. “Let your state be an example for the rest of the country and the rest of the world.”

On Tuesday, a grand jury also indicted all ten people charged with Otieno’s death.

“Those ten monsters, those ten criminals, I was happy to hear that they were indicted,” Caroline Ouko, Otieno’s mother, said.

Ouko said they are still on a long road to justice.

“With young people who are going through mental distress and the world behind me, we will achieve justice for Ivo Otieno,” Ouko said.

The family said they are still planning funeral arrangements to allow time for Otieno’s family from Kenya to make it to the service.

Crump said more information will be released on Wednesday.