NAACP leaders call for charges after death of Jamal Sutherland at Charleston Co. jail

Source: Live 5
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 2:30 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Branch of the NAACP condemned the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday morning for taking five months to fire two detention deputies present when an inmate died in custody back in January.

Jamal Sutherland, 31, died as deputies struggled to forcibly remove him from his cell so he could attend a bond hearing on an assault charge.

Reports say Sutherland was moved to the jail after getting into a fight at a mental health facility and his family says he struggled with mental illness.

The Charleston County Sheriff released video of his death last week. It has since sparked outrage in the community.

Several NAACP leaders at Wednesday’s news conference called for charges to be pressed against those officers.

“Mr. Sutherland’s brutal death was captured on video that has shocked and angered our community our state and our nation,” Charleston Branch NAACP President Dot Scott said. “While we are encouraged that the Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano was asked to release the video and has fired the two officers who killed Mr. Sutherland, justice has not yet been done.”

Additionally, leaders called for a change in the treatment of prisoners at Al Cannon Detention Center and prisoners who are mental health patients.

“Those officers involved should be prosecuted and fundamental changes should be made to the treatment of prisoners at the Al Cannon Detention Center, in general, and the treatment of prisoners with emotional illness,” Scott said.

The solicitor general has not yet indicated whether charges will be filed against the deputies involved.

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