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Family of Black Man Who Died While Restrained in Mental Health Facility Reaches $8.5 Million Settlement

Public documents show a judge accepted out-of-court wrongful death compensation Tuesday.

In March, Henrico County sheriff’s police and hospital staff crushed 28-year-old Black man IrvoOtieno to Central State hospital’s floor for 11 minutes, killing him. Critics of Otieno’s planned treatment facility’s CCTV footage demanded mental health and police reform.

Asphyxia killed him. Two hospital employees were acquitted of second-degree murder after eleven were prosecuted.

Otieno had a lengthy history of mental illness and struggled to breathe when held down, according to his relatives. Some defendants’ lawyers say Otieno was nasty and restricted.

The state, county, and sheriff will compensate Otieno’s family and lawyers $8.5 million despite their denial of murder.

Governor Glenn Youngkin’s spokeswoman, Macaulay Porter, said Wednesday that the governor sought a settlement “with the hope that doing so proactively and fairly might alleviate – in a small way – some of the suffering that Irvo’s mother and brother faced,” acknowledging that no settlement can replace a

Ben Crump and Mark Krudys, Otieno’s family attorneys, said the family “is pleased that they were able to find a resolution outside of court in a manner that honors Irvo’s life.”

Crump and Krudys called the settlement “confidential,” but Henrico County Circuit Court disclosed its details.

The mother and siblings of Otieno get $5 million after paying over $3 million in funeral, burial, and legal fees.

The Richmond police seized Otieno, who was born in Kenya, in early March and put him in the state hospital. His family thinks he is in mental suffering.

He was seized on March 3 while seeking mental health treatment at a nearby hospital under emergency custody.

Police stated Otieno “became physically assaultive toward officers,” and then detained and sent to a local prison, which his family says was wrong. March 6 afternoon saw him taken to Dinwiddie County State Hospital south of Richmond, which includes a prison and court-ordered admissions.

Silent hospital footage shows sheriff’s police and personnel holding Otieno. The bunch pinned Otieno down for much of that. The film shows failed CPR.

The Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s autopsy found suffocation and murder.

Advocates for several defendants said they’ll fight charges.

Rev. Al Sharpton called Otieno a compassionate, dynamic, and respected friend, teammate, and musician during his burial.

Wednesday, Henrico County spokesperson Ben Sheppard stated, “Henrico County continues to offer its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Otieno.”

Late last year, Youngkin initiated a massive mental health reform push in Virginia.

Wednesday, Porter said Governor Youngkin is committed to improving the mental health system to treat crisis patients at the correct time and place.

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Written by Anthony Peters