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Sheriff agrees to release video involving inmate’s death at jail following family request

Jamal Sutherland, 31, died Tuesday while in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center.
Jamal Sutherland, 31, died Tuesday while in custody at the Al Cannon Detention Center.(Provided)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 10:22 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano agreed to release video involving an inmate’s death at the county jail after the family requested it be released to the public.

Jamal Sutherland’s family requested Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano to release the footage.

“I have deferred to the family’s wishes to keep the video private until they were ready, and they have now asked me to release the jail footage of their son, Jamal Sutherland,” Graziano said in a statement late Thursday night. ”I am directing the immediate release of all videos related to his death in their entirety. We agree it is clearly time for the public to view what happened.”

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement on Thursday night regarding the video’s release.

On Thursday night, Jamal Sutherland’s family released the following statement.

“We appreciate the Sheriff’s consideration of our wishes related to the jail video footage of our son and we would like her to release it to the public at this time,” the family said.

The statement sent by the family’s lawyer, Mark Peper, also indicated the family’s wish for the North Charleston Police Department to release videos in connection with Sutherland’s Jan. 5 death.

This follows after activist groups held a press conference earlier on Thursday demanding the release of the video.

The solicitor says Sutherland died after being in jail for just about 12 hours. He was being taken out of his cell to go to a bond hearing but died while being subdued. Sutherland struggled with mental illness, and was brought to the jail by North Charleston police after a fight at a psychiatric facility he was committed to.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office said a forensic autopsy showed the cause of death as “excited state with adverse pharmacotherapeutic effect during subdual process.”

According to the coroner, the manner of death is currently “undetermined” as the investigation into Sutherland’s death remains open and active.

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