Online fundraiser underway to support Henrico deputies charged in Otieno’s death

Support is growing for the seven sheriff’s deputies charged with second degree murder.
A fundraiser was launched just days ago to help the deputies and their families while they navigate the legal process.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:02 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) -A fundraiser was launched just days ago to help the deputies and their families while they navigate the legal process.

The headline: “Help our Deputies” with the message to offer them financial and community support.

“There were a lot of people in that room. They are not all going to be of equal culpability for them, not nearly what it is for the family, but it’s certainly a tragedy for these officers as well.” Dana Schrad, Executive Director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said.

A tragedy prompted some who support those with a badge to donate what they can to an online fundraiser on social media.

The campaign states in part:

“Please join me in supporting our Henrico Deputies, Randy Boyer, Dwayne Bramble, Jermaine Branch, Bradley Disse, Tabitha Levere, Brandon Rodgers, Kaiyell Sanders, who have been caught in the horrific situation involving the death of Irvo Otieno. We have to stand up and support our husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, Fathers, Mothers and friends that put their lives on the line for us every day. I would like to raise funds to support these Deputies in any way we can. This is a horrible tragedy and we must show our law enforcement that we stand behind them. They are the thin blue line and we have to have their backs. Please research this horrific event and consider a contribution to support them. Thank you for any help.”

The top donation is $7,000 and is anonymous. Schrad said this tragedy is impacting many families.

“No one intends when they walk onto the job every day in law enforcement for a fatality to occur,” Schrad said. “And they are now facing obviously legal costs, possible loss of income to their families and so it’s not unusual at all for our law enforcement family to rise up and provide avenues of support for each other.”

“I stand behind the deputies’ actions. Detainees of jails, mental or medical facilities may have to be subdued for their own safety or the safety of others,” one anonymous donor posted.

“One of the things that I think we need to keep in mind is the difficulty that our officers face when dealing with people who have mental health problems,” Schrad said. “When they are in crisis, and they fight back, it can be very dangerous both for that individual and for the officer and the decisions on how to apply control procedures are made in that instant. They do the best they can under the circumstances. Unfortunately, tragedies like this occur, and they need to be addressed.”

NBC12 reached out to the local and state FOP to get their thoughts on this fundraiser. We also reached out to the woman who started it.

We are still waiting to hear back.