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Protesters gather downtown to call for justice, charges in Jamal Sutherland death

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than six months since Jamal Sutherland died inside the Charleston County Jail, community members continue to call for the detention officers involved to be charged.

A small group protested at Marion Square Saturday afternoon, calling on Solicitor Scarlett Wilson to charge Detention Sergeant Lindsay Fickett and Detention Deputy Brian Houle in Sutherland’s death.

After the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office released video a month ago showing Sutherland’s final moments, protesters said they would continue to take to the streets until they felt justice was done.

A number of groups have held smaller protests since then, including one two weekends ago.

While their numbers may be small, the organizer of Saturday’s protest said it’s important to keep showing up and calling for more than what he said is the bare minimum response from leaders.

“It’s very important to continue applying pressure because it’s pressure when real change happens,” Marcus McDonald, a lead organizer with Charleston Black Lives Matter, said. “Until we really hit the streets and got things done they didn’t even fire these officers.”

Wilson has previously said she doesn’t want to make a decision based on feelings or emotions but rather on evidence. She said she hopes to make a decision about whether to charge the deputies by the end of this month.

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