The mother of Irvo Otieno, the Black man reportedly killed by seven deputies in a Virginia state-run mental hospital, said the “traumatic” video showing him being “tortured” like an animal… worse than a dog.”
“My son was treated like a dog, worse than a dog,” Caroline Ouko said Thursday after seeing the “heartbreaking,” “disturbing” and “traumatic” footage of her 28-year-old son’s March 6 death.
“My Son Was Tortured. I Saw The Torture,” Victim’s Mother Says
She continued: “My son was tortured. I saw the torture,” she said of “seven officers on one man,” allegedly including one pinning her son with a knee on his neck, eerily similar to George Floyd’s death, the New York Post reports.
“He was treated inhumanely. It was traumatic — and it was systematic,” she said, saying the abuse “went on and it went on until he took his last breath.”
Randy Joseph Boyer, 57, of Henrico; Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37, of Sandston; Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45, of Henrico; Bradley Thomas Disse, 43, of Henrico; Tabitha Renee Levere, 50, of Henrico; Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, of Henrico; and Kaiyell???????? pic.twitter.com/be6xba0BaA
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She went on to say: “He was murdered! They smothered the breath out of my baby. They murdered my baby,” she said, fighting back tears as she said: “I do not wish this on anyone else.”
No One Stood Up To Help Him: ‘There Was A Chance To Rescue Him’
She also spoke of the pain she suffered that “no one stood up to help” her son, who was at the local hospital voluntarily for help before being taken to jail and then ultimately fatally restrained at Central State Hospital, a mental health facility in Petersburg.
“Mental illness should not be your ticket to death. There was a chance to rescue him,” she said. “We have to do better.”
RELATED: Seven Virginia Deputies Charged With Murder In Death Of Black Man At State-Run Psychiatric Hospital
Meanwhile, Otieno’s older brother, Leon Ochieng, said he had been returning home to Virginia for his weekend when it turned into a “tragic, senseless, inhumane nightmare.”
“Words can’t describe what I just saw today,” he said of footage of his brother’s death that left his family “broken.”
“What I saw was a lifeless human being, without any representation. No regard to his human life,” he said.
What To Know About Irvo Otieno, Whose Death At A Mental Health Facility Sparked 10 Murder Charges https://t.co/nXeVqv21rg pic.twitter.com/hFRmMGX025
— Forbes (@Forbes) March 17, 2023
He continued: “I witnessed a homicide. I did not think in my life that I would witness my own blood brother being murdered,” he said, having to pause to hug his mother after becoming overwhelmed.
Seven Deputies Charged With Second-Degree Murder In Otieno’s death
Seven deputies have been charged with second-degree murder. They are Randy Joseph Boyer, 57, Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37, Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45, Bradley Thomas Disse, 43, Tabitha Renee Levere, 50, Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, and Kaiyell Dajour Sanders, 30.
Acclaimed civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family, said the video showed Otieno being pinned down for around 11 to 12 minutes before his death by asphyxiation.