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N. Charleston police release video footage of Jamal Sutherland’s arrest

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 11:54 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the North Charleston Police Department have released more body camera footage showing what led to the arrest of Jamal Sutherland.

The videos show the moments police arrived at Palmetto Behavior Health where Sutherland was receiving treatment for his bipolar schizophrenia. The videos show the situation had already been contained when police arrived.

Police were called to the center around 7 p.m. on Jan. 4. Staff had called for help after several patients got into a fight. Sutherland became involved in that fight and ended up assaulting a staff member.

The new video released today shows what happened before he was taken to the jail.

Body camera video released by the North Charleston Police Department shows the moments officers arrived at the center. They find Sutherland sitting in a chair when police place him in hand cuffs.

Sutherland can be heard saying,”God protect me.”

Officers return for a second suspect, and they ask where staff want the men taken. Outside, staff described the fight that resulted in several minor injuries to staff and patients.

Officers can be seen figuring out if Sutherland, who is receiving treatment for bipolar schizophrenia, should be taken to jail or sent to a different medical facility. Sutherland can be heard pleading his innocence.

Palmetto Behavioral Health released the following statement.

We are saddened about the death of Jamal Sutherland and are thinking of his family during this time.

Our highest priority is always the safety of our patients and our staff and we are committed to our mission of providing care to patients with special, and often complex, mental health needs. The facility is licensed, accredited by The Joint Commission and upholds high standards for quality, safety of care and safety of the environment in which care is provided.

When the altercations occurred at the facility, our staff followed facility protocols in attempting to bring the situation under control. When the altercation escalated and put patients and staff at risk, police were called to further assist to help protect the safety of our patients and staff.

Due to HIPAA patient privacy laws, I cannot provide further comment on the individual patients

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