Charleston County Council votes unanimously to settle Jamal Sutherland case for $10 million

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 11:13 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County Council has voted unanimously to settle the Jamal Sutherland case for $10 million.

Council members met with lawyers in executive session to discuss the settlement before voting on it in public Tuesday night. The finance committee earlier voted in favor of the settlement.

County council is expected to issue a statement on the settlement on Wednesday.

Sutherland, a 31-year-old Goose Creek resident, was repeatedly tased at the detention center this past January less than a day after being arrested by North Charleston Police on a misdemeanor assault and battery charge at a facility serving people with mental illnesses. He died shortly after being extracted from his jail cell.

Several council members spoke during Tuesday’s meeting offering their condolences to the Sutherland family and also raising a few questions.

Councilman Kylon Middleton expressed frustration with how the news of Sutherland’s death has been slow to come out over the last five months, and Council Chairman Teddie Pryor says he is looking at reforms in public safety but especially at the Al Cannon Detention Center.

“We definitely need reform in our detention facility,” Middleton said. “I have been researching that and I’m going to bring some other matters before this council regarding that. Certainly, as many other items have come before the council specifically the public safety perspective, this was never raised to that level. So i continue to remain disappointed in that way.”

The two deputies involved in the investigation of Sutherland’s death were fired.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson is currently conducting an investigation to determine if charges should be brought in the case.

Wilson said she hopes to wrap up the investigation and make her decision no later than June 30.

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