Organizers hold rally for Jamal Sutherland in North Charleston

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 3:48 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 11:45 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Organizers held a rally for Jamal Sutherland Tuesday night at the Alfred Williams Community Center in North Charleston.

“When we think about justice for Jamal, we’re thinking about justice for all,” said Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump who spoke at the event.

Earlier today, Crump, who represented the family of George Floyd, demanded criminal charges in the death of Sutherland, who died while in custody in the Charleston County jail. Sutherland died on the morning of Jan. 5 after becoming unresponsive as detention deputies forcibly removed him from his cell so that he could attend a bond hearing on an assault charge.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she could not bring criminal charges against the former deputies because she would not be able to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

Crump referred to video of the incident, saying detention deputies used Taser guns on Sutherland 10 times, and urged Wilson to watch the video again capturing deputies tasing Sutherland.

“Don’t say no more, watch the video. Don’t say no more, watch the video. Don’t say no more, watch the video,” Crump said. “If we don’t fight for Jamal Sutherland, who will?”

Amy Sutherland, Jamal’s mother, also spoke at Tuesday night’s event and said she and her family were continuing to look for justice in her son’s death.

“Jamal was murdered. We ask the state of South Carolina to do the right thing,” Amy Sutherland said. ”We have not had justice yet.”

On Tuesday morning, Crump spoke to reporters outside the office of Solicitor Scarlett Wilson to demand the two former Charleston County detention deputies who were present when Sutherland died be prosecuted.

“I understand the frustration that some may have with my decision,” Wilson said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon. “I will not stand in the way of a review by the South Carolina Attorney General or the United States Department of Justice. In fact, I invited the Department of Justice to investigate this matter in April of this year. I provided my report to the public at large, to the Department of Justice and to our state Attorney General.”

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